Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Willow – symbol of mourning

Posted on by royvickery |

Detail of headstone in memory of Sarah Headding, ‘who departed this life 1 February 1837, aged 28 years’, in St Paul’s churchyard, Clapham, London Borough of Lambeth.  It is assumed that the tree is a willow, the association of which with grief appears to have originated in Psalm 137: ‘By the rivers of Babylon we sat down and wept when we remembered Zion.  There on the willow trees we hung up our harps …’

Rather strangely such memorials usually depict a female mourner, rather than the widower.

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