The Empty Chair

The gray-marble tufted chair in the Oakland Cemetery in Petersburg, Illinois, has FATHER carved on the front of the upholstered seat cushion.  The highl- elaborate, Victorian-style stone chair gravestone is a memorial for Richard C. Trenary (December 16, 1829 – August 4, 1889), whose large polished gray-granite ornamented obelisk is at the center of the family plot.

This motif gives the feeling that the vacant chair is just waiting for the father, who just stepped out for a moment, to return.  But, it stands empty, never to be sat in again.  In funerary symbolism, the vacant chair symbolizes the loss of a loved one.

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