to the memory
born 17th of Novbr
departed this life
on the 28th of May
This elaborate gravestone in the Nashville City Cemetery at Nashville, Tennessee, has a delicate butterfly on the face of the pedestal supporting the urn, just under the cartouche displaying the name, birth and death dates of the woman’s whose remains lay beneath the stone.
Like many symbols found in gravestone art, the butterfly has more than one meaning. The butterfly emerging out of a chrysalis represents the flight of the soul from the body. The metamorphosis of the butterfly, the change from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly, also represents the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Many ancient paintings of Jesus Christ show Him holding a butterfly.
The butterfly is also seen as a metaphor for change. During the path through life the many twists and turns along the way help the soul morph into a more perfect being.