From water we came
To water we shall return
Baptism and death
*At every cemetery I’ve visited, seashells are a common grave decoration. Not in that the shell motifs adorn markers, but actual shells define the grave site – either lined up along the top of the gravestones, or along the edges of the plot.
What little I could find about this custom, it appears that shells are a traditional southern practice. Some traditions say shells represent baptism, or the glory of the sea.
In black cemeteries the shells are often a remembrance of slaves being brought to America over the sea and in death being taken to the afterlife over the sea.
Other mythology says shells, downturned, enclose the immortal soul and help keep wandering spirits in the grave.
Whatever the meaning, seashells are an important element in southern burials.