The Severed Bud

Somerford Cemetery, rural London, Ohio

Cemeteries have many symbols that represent children–shoes, seedpods, cribs, cherubs–but one of the most common is the hanging bud. The broken bud represents the flower that did not bloom into full blossom, the life that was cut short before it had a chance to grow to adulthood.

What is unusual about this gravestone is that the bud is not hanging but completely severed and laying below the leaves.  The other element that is different is that the leaves number 4, instead of the often three-leaf combination, which represents the Trinity—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.


Daughter of



July 5, 1849


5 Y, 2M, & 8 D

A sister reposes underneath this sod

A sister to memory dear, and dear to God

Rejoice, yet shed the sympathetic tear

My little sister lies buried here.

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