Hinting at fairy tales and dark romanticism, this black and white poster photographed in Atlanta’s Oakland Cemetery features a statue that appears to be sleeping peacefully in a garden. An enchanting addition equally at home in a nursery, child's bedroom, master bedroom, living room, dorm room, etc.
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Known as the Dougherty monument, this statue of a woman clinging to a cross is one of the oldest in Atlanta’s Oakland Cemetery, dating to 1855. It marks the resting place of Daniel Dougherty and his father-in-law, Patrick Connelly (a.k.a. Connally).
As a young man, Daniel left Ireland and settled in Atlanta. There he met his soon-to-be wife Mary Ann, daughter of another Irish immigrant (Patrick). Patrick owned some tracts of land in Atlanta.
Daniel became a successful businessman, founding Atlanta's first bakery and owning/operating a bowling alley.
In 1851, Patrick died.
Daniel followed just four years later, at 45 years of age. Tragically, he was stabbed to death on Whitehall Street by a man named Martin, who evaded authorities and was never apprehended.Mary Ann inherited property from both Patrick and Daniel, no doubt affording her the financial means to place such an elaborate monument in their honor.
When I visited Oakland Cemetery in 2008, they were still recovering from a tornado that had ripped out trees, damaged tombstones, and toppled monuments.
The statue had fallen across one of the paths, with the top resting on a curb.
(She's since been restored to her former glory.)
Despite all the wreckage around her, she looked as though she were sleeping peacefully – having happy dreams, even.
I find it an apt metaphor for dealing with the troubles life sometimes throws at us. To best take care of our problems, we need to make sure we're also taking care of ourselves.
(For more about clinging woman statues, see Hold On.)