MARY SOUTHWICK MONUMENT
This cross encrusted with flowers is a particularly lovely example of a combination of two popular themes, the cross and flowers. Like Lucy Bixby, Mary’s husband wanted people to know his wife was a good Christian woman. At 26 years of age, Mary Southwick was a relatively young wife when she died.
In the nineteenth century, flowers were a part of popular culture. Books with titles such as The Language of Flowers were extremely popular, and exchanged as gifts. These books assigned symbolic associations and special meanings to all different kinds of flowers and plants. Although there was never one fixed set of meanings, in general these books tended to agree on flowers and sentiments that were associated with death, grief and mourning.
Many of the flowers on Mary Southwick’s cross are roses (“love”), along with many-petaled zinnias (according to one popular book, “absence”), and poppies (“eternal sleep”). Notice how the roses are drooping, just like real ones do when they are dying. Besides Mary’s death, her husband Joseph (who lies next to her) had another tragedy to face just days later when the couple's one-year old baby boy Joseph Jr. died. Little Joseph Jr. is buried next to his mother, under the lamb and gravestone that says simply “our baby.”
Proceed next to the William Tompkins monument.
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