This decorative wheat shaft was placed on the grave of James Franklin Moss (1825-1904), a farmer from Jersey County. Wheat is a typical motif of mourning art. It symbolizes the divine harvest of death and the resurrection of the soul. There was also a practical reason for using wheat to decorate a grave; before refrigeration made flowers widely available in rural areas year-round, mourners would make sentimental tokens with materials at hand.
Nature in mourning art