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Emma Manske grave, Pilgrim’s Rest Cemetery, Mankato, Minnesota

This photo was among many collected by a great-aunt of my husband’s. My interest in cemeteries had led me to see many post-mortem photos, but I had not come across an old picture of a fresh gravesite before.

What strikes me is the copious amount of flowers. After Dad had closed a grave, he would let me place the casket spray on top of the freshly replaced sod. That was the extent of flowers on a grave in my experience.

Here, Emma’s grave is covered with bouquets and arrangements. A prominent “Our Daughter” is displayed at the foot of the grave:

I find this interesting because Emma was also a young mother, but I do not see a traditional “Mother” arrangement among these flowers.

Have you seen anything like this in recent years? Do you have old photos that show something similar? Please share–I’m interested in learning more about this custom.

Blind Willie McTell, “Lay Some Flowers On My Grave”:

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