Accompanying the inscriptions of names, dates, and family crests are some common symbols that crop up repeatedly on tombstones. EyeIf you feel someone may be looking at you in the cemetery, you might be near a tombstone engraved with an eye. Clasped HandsSeeing two hands clasped together can illustrate shaking hands or holding hands, depending on the position of the thumbs. An open book on a tombstone might refer to a sacred text like the Bible, the “book of life,” or the person’s willingness to learn. An hourglass on its end may mean the deceased died suddenly, while a winged hourglass communicates how quickly time flies.