In his 1878 essay Aes Triplex, Robert Louis Stevenson has occasion to list some of the “sore havoc made in other people’s lives” by death of a loved one: “There are empty chairs, solitary walks, and single beds at night.”

Figure 1. Empty-bed monument. Hollenback Cemetery, Wilkes-Barre, PA. Photo: author.

I don’t know whether he or she knew Stevenson’s essay, but the raiser of a monument in Hollenback Cemetery in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, certainly understood the empty bed as a figure for loss (figure 1).

Published by gsb03632

A college professor living in Scranton, PA

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