Tombstones are memorials to remember a person. They portray joy as well grief, peace as well as horror and also sometimes respect and tribute to those who were martyred for the sake of saving their country.
Monuments and memorial benches are also used to symbolize the emotions. Monuments are the sculptures carved out of stone in the shape of humans and angels while memorial benches are a piece of furniture placed in public places and graveyards. People sit on them and ponder about their afterlife. Tombstones, monuments and benches all are engraved with name, date and time and sometimes place of death as well as any message for the deceased.
A tombstone with a joyful angel is a monument of a winged girl like an angel who is seemed to be having a smiling face that symbolizes that all of her wishes have been fulfilled, and with the help of death doors of eternity have been opened for her. She is now free from all worldly cares and fears, and is now ready to lead a peaceful eternal life in the palaces of paradise. Also it shows that her voyage from this world to her eternal life has been joyful.
Some people may relate this headstone to the fact that the deceased had suffered a lot in the world and she now needs a peaceful life in which there will be no worries. Therefore, they will put this headstone on her grave to show her that her difficulties are now ended.
I knew this lovely girl, Mila Porter, a daughter of our church friend. She was diagnosed as bone cancer at the age of 12, and then she experienced all kinds of pain through chemo and radiation treatments. 6 months later her left leg was amputated from her knee. And later on she can only walk with a pair of crutches. She encountered great challenge physically and mentally, even though her parents supported her all the time, and church friends prayed in her home once a week, and encouraged her all the time. During her treatment, her parents’ business had run into a big trouble. So much pain and struggling happened all together….. We prayed for God’s mercy.
She died one year later peacefully in the bosom of her mother. We witnessed her final breath inside that very hospital room!
All the suffering and fighting had finished. She is with the angels, and she is with the heavenly father! She had entered the eternal happiness and joy. No pain any more, no sorrow any more, but eternal peace and rejoice!
So this joyful angel headstone was designed. The heart shape on the right represents the love from parents and family, and this joyful angel is sitting beside the heart shape headstone, conveying a message that this girl now is sleeping peacefully with a sweet dream. This really gives the comfort to the family and all church friends. By the process of designing this memorial headstone, the deep grief of losing beloved daughter seemed being released. And the real hope of eternal life has been assured freshly and firmly. “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” from Corinthians 13:13, is carved on the back side of the headstone.
Even though she is not with us， her existence will always be remembered through her memorial. People will go to church cemetery, and try to know about her whenever they see this special tombstone.