Tear Bottles to keep your Cremation Ashes and Hair Save
Tear bottles, or lachrymatories, may seem like a modern concept, but many are surprised to find out that notations of these whimsical little keepsakes are littered throughout our collective history. The origins of these bottles is somewhat of a mystery, as no one is really sure when the concept came about. They are actually mentioned in the bible, in Psalm 56:8, which reads, “Thou tellest my wanderings, put though tears in Thy bottle; are they not in Thy book?" This particular scripture actually predates the birth of Christ by at least 1000 years, which just goes to show how long tear bottles have been utilized by man to soothe the heart and spirit. While they are mentioned in the bible, that is not to say that using tear bottles is a religious practice. Lachrymatories were often used throughout history for the same basic purpose, which was to honor an important event, such as a wedding, birth, or even the loss of a loved one, as well as bring comfort to those who possessed them.
While notations of the use of lachrymatories is scarce throughout documented history, there are few very important eras that were thought to incorporate them into the culture of the people. In Roman times, tear bottles were often filled when a death occurred. The mourning individuals would fill the bottles with their tears, and then place them in the burial tomb of the lost individual. This both showed respect for the lost loved one, as well as how important they were, as it was believed that crying loudly and producing many tears showed the importance of the person. In fact, many often paid women mourners to cry into the bottles, and the more emotional they became, the more they were paid. During the romantic era of the Victorian years, mourners would fill tear bottles, and seal them with special stoppers that allowed the contents to dissipate. Once the tears within the bottle were completely evaporated, the mourning period would be complete. The use of tear bottles was also prominent in during the U.S. Civil War, as men would give them to their wives, with hopes that the bottles would be full upon their return. The full bottle was seen as a sign of devotion, and a collection of the countless tears shed during the time the soldier was gone.
With such a rich history, it is strange to think that many have not heard of tear bottles, and even more so that this tradition didn't fully carry through into our generations. While they may not be overly popularized, tear bottles are still used, and given as meaningful gifts to celebrate special moments in our lives, as they capture and hold the tears of joy of the occasion. Alternatively, they are also still given as gifts of condolence, and while they may not be filled with tears, many fill them with crushed flower petals, earth from a grave site, or even cremation ashes, to serve as a small yet powerful tribute to the lost individual.
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