The only snakes you should hope to meet in a cemetery is the symbolic snake, representing sin and Satan, hence the fall of Man.
This serpent sits on the grave of a member of the Order of FreeMasons.
The ancient image of a snake eating its tail is called ouroboros, a constant re-creation of itself. Thought to cheat death and gain vigor by shedding their skins they were also recognized as a symbol of everlasting life.
An intertwined snake forming an infinite number 8 also represents eternity.
A snake wrapped around a cross is a Masonic symbol, representing Christ’s crucifixion.
A snake on the rod of Asclepius (the Greek God of Medicine) represents a person who was in the medical profession.
Food sculpture is not common within cemeteries but it can be discovered on very old stones.
The presence of an apple represents Salvation.
If the sculpture is a snake holding an apple in its mouth, it symbolizes sin.
An ear of corn symbolizes fertility and rebirth. It also signifies that the deceased lived to a ripe old age.
Cornucopia known as the “Horn of Plenty” symbolizes an abundant life. It is also a symbol of the harvest and the end of life.
Grapes are a symbol of the blood of Christ. When the vine is present it represents Christian faith.
A Sheaf of Wheat has several meanings. At its most fundamental, it represents the divine harvest and the end of life; and is usually found on older peoples’ gravestones.
Also used as an occupational symbol. Following the death of a farmer, it was a country custom to send a sheaf of corn to relatives of the deceased.
A sheaf of corn is a Masonic symbol representing charity to the less fortunate.