Friday, April 30, 2010

Years, Months, Days

One of the most common questions I get from people who
accompany me on graveyard adventures has to do with a common practice of spelling out the years, months and days of a person's life. I remember reading years ago (or did I hear it in a college history class?) that the reason for this is that in the 1800's (the period from which you commonly see these gravestones) lives were often short. We're talking lives plagued by cholera, consumption and dysentery, to name a few. When some reached old age, such as the person whose gravestone is shown in this photo, the family was damn sure to list out every single moment the person was alive. But it applies to very short lives too. Sadly, many old cemeteries are filled with the graves of children, most likely victims of the diseases of the time. Many times you will see the graves of multiple children from the same family who died in a short period of time. This stone reads "Ages 1 Yr & 6 Ms."

No comments: