ROBERT GOLDEN DONALDSON
1876 – 1940
ANTOINETTE COLETTE DONALDSON
DIED SEPT 13, 1927
In his book, Saving Graces, published by W. W. Norton & Company in 1995, David Robinson identified four categories of “Saving Graces”:
- Women completely overcome by grief, often portrayed as having collapsed and fallen limp on the grave.
- Women who are portrayed reaching up to Heaven as if to try to call their recently lost loved one back to Earth.
- Women who are immobile and grief stricken, often holding their head in their hands distraught with loss.
- The last category of “Saving Grace” as the mourning figure who is “resigned with the loss and accepting of death.”
An example of the first category of mourning figure or “Saving Graces” can be found in the St. Paul’s Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington D.C. on the Donaldson family monument. The “weeper” is depicted with seated but with her head bent in grief, clutching a wreath, the classical gown cascading around her.
The laurel wreath dates back to Roman times when soldiers wore them as triumphal signs of glory. The laurel was also believed to wash away the soldier’s guilt from injuring or killing any of his opponents. In funerary art the laurel wreath is often seen as a symbol of victory over death.