This barefooted woman draped in a long vestment, with locks of hair falling within her hood, leans forward, hands covering her eyes as she weeps. I find this image to be the epitome of grief. There are few of us who have not felt the depth of this woman’s grief, the total despair and heartbreak.
“The grief within me has its own heartbeat. It has its own life, its own song. Part of me wants to resist the rhythms of my grief, yet as I surrender to the song, I learn to listen deep within myself” ~ Alan Wolfelt
The tomb at which the woman weeps is located near the top of the Cimitero delle Porte Sante, in Florence, Tuscany, Italy.
A gravestone is propped against the exterior of the tomb. I have not been able to find an image that clearly identifies all the details inscribed on the stone. From the few words that are decipherable it would appear that the inscription is in memory of Giovanni, a student who died suddenly of a disease.
A Soviet funeral monument in the Roman style encased in glass, Novodevichiy Cemetery, Moscow
Martyrs Monument, Valley Cemetery, Stirling, Scotland
In the late 17th century two sisters, Margaret and Agnes Wilson from Wigtown, were arrested for refusing to renounce the Covenanter faith which was in opposition to Royal control over the church. A plea from their father released Agnes; however, Margaret aged 18 refused to swear an oath declaring James VII as head of the church. She was chained to a stake in the tides of the Solway Firth and drowned on 11th May 1685.
A glass tomb memorial commissioned by William Drummond in 1859 was designed by Handyside Ritchie and cast by George Smith & Co. Sun Foundry Glasgow. The cupola which was added in 1867 is capped with a crown resting on a pillow. The tomb contains marble statuary of the sisters and an angel. Margaret, with a look of determination on her face, is seated with a bible in her left hand. Agnes, the younger sister is leaning against her as she looks down at the bible. An angel holding a wreath overlooks the pair, and a lamb is seated at their feet (a symbol of martyrdom).
An engraved plaque is located on the stone pedestal. Margaret / Virgin Martyr Of The Ocean Wave / With Her Like-Minded Sister / Agnes. Love, Many Waters Cannot Quench God Saves / His Chaste Impearled One In Covenant True / O Scotia’s Daughter Earnest Scan The Page / And Prize This Flower Of Grace Blood-Bought For You. Psalm IX:XIX
There are four symbols above the legend: the letters nr, a Sun Cross, the Greek letter Omega, and waves or water.
The octagonal stone base has several engravings. Revelation 22:13-21 is engraved on the stone at the front of the pedestal and is a reference to Christ as “the First and the Last.”
A second biblical reference is Isaiah 17:12-14 which refers to the roar of the seas and mighty waters.
A third panel is engraved with the words Glory To God
Individual glass panes beneath the cupola display the words, It Is / Christ / In Us / Lord / Jesus / King / Judge / Saviour