Frazer Blog

A history and evolution of headstones

by | Sep 12, 2018 | For Families


Guest post written by Tania Word of Light After Death 

Around the world, death is marked differently based on culture and religious belief. However there are a few traditions that remain the same, we honor or memorialize the ones we lost, when our loved ones are buried we marked their graves, and we celebrate the life. Before public cemeteries loved ones were buried near family homes marked by rocks or wood, in some cultures this was meant to keep the dead from rising.

Origins of Headstones

The term headstone comes from a dated Jewish custom where the visitor of the deceased will place a rock at the top of a headstone as a sign of respect.

It was during the 19th century, not only did public cemeteries emerge, but also Victorians began adding artwork and symbols to headstones such as the Star of David, Eye of Horus, swords, flowers or doves to name a few. People also began personalizing headstones with personal messages telling others a little about the deceased, their family, or just a few kind words along with their name and lifespan.

Another tradition that emerged in this time era was the lighting of candles to memorialize the ones we lost. Many people claim to find solace in the flames.

In 2017, a Boston family traveled to Rochester New York to visit their lost loved one, to be disgraced by the vandalized headstones, light fixtures, and liter. With a heavy heart Light After Death combined the two traditions, creating a clean cut engraving as opposed to a shallow one and adding a solar powered panel to the inside of the headstone.

For thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands of years there hasn’t been any changes to the traditions of cemeteries and burials. These new solar powered illuminating tombstones allow every family to honor their lost loved ones brightly, provided all the benefits and comforts of lighting a memorial candle.

Just as artwork and symbols engraved on tombstones have emerged and followed us to the 21st century, it is the hope of L.A.D that centuries from now solar powered illuminating monuments will fill the cemeteries at night, revolutionizing cemeteries and how we celebrate the life of the ones we lost.

To learn more about Light After Death and their mission, click here.


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