Last post on Mar 09, 2007 at 11:03 PM
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#36 of 55 Re: Memorials..... [rorr]
by kyfdx@Edmunds HOST
Feb 28, 2007 (1:20 pm)
I just don't get why you erect a memorial at the place the person died.. It seems kind of morbid.
If he fell off the roof, would you leave the ladder up with a bouquet on it?
If he died on the toilet, would you drop a little plastic wreath in the bowl?
How about if he slipped on a wet floor at Wal-Mart? A cross with flowers in Aisle 6?
Plus, as mentioned above... many, many times.. it is a memorial to the poor deceased's own stupidity.
I'm all for grieving, even publicly if it helps... but, roadside memorials seem over the top, especially the ones that are constantly maintained over time.
#37 of 55 Re: Memorials..... [kyfdx]
Feb 28, 2007 (2:12 pm)
That's a good point, and it stimulated this thought:
Most of these people are YOUNG people who have died, many of them under 25 and an usually high number of teens. Many or most of them (I would bet) were not wearing their seatbelts at the time of the accident, due in part to the aura of invincibility that young people have.
People first of all just DO NOT READILY ACCEPT the death of a young person. It goes against human nature. Parents are SUPPOSED to outlive their kids. When someone young dies senselessly (perhaps a drunk driver?) on the road, it somehow makes the death a little WORSE.
Especially if it's a pedestrian death. I had one of those near a school near my last home - a 13 year old girl legally crossing in the crosswalk and just hit by an inattentive driver.
That was a hard pill to swallow for the parents and the friends. Such a young life taken so soon, so unfairly. It generates a lot of unusually high grief levels, and ALL they can really do to help share in the grief is put up a memorial.
It's just a part of the grieving process.
#38 of 55 Re: Memorials..... [larsb]
Feb 28, 2007 (2:30 pm)
"It's just a part of the grieving process."
A memorial is part of the grieving process. Placing the memorial at the accident site is part of making the process PUBLIC.
And it is this desire to make what should be a private issue a public issue is the part I don't understand. I mean, where does this trend stop? Are we far from the day when parents rent space on billboards to memorialize the loss of a child? Buying 30-sec TV spots? Yes, the loss of a child is devastating for precisely the reasons you indicate (parents aren't supposed to bury their children), but at what point do memorials cease being part of a healing process and enter the realm of bad taste?
My answer to that is whenever the grieving party takes the memorial public when the public has no interest in the deceased.
#39 of 55 Re: Memorials..... [rorr]
Feb 28, 2007 (2:50 pm)
Well, at least SOME of the public has interest, or nothing would appear at the memorial.
I see the point though - vast majority of "drivers by" did not know the deceased or care about them.
My original point stands though - as long as they are not a traffic hazard, what are they REALLY hurting?
PS Something else I just thought about:
Is it already so "trendy" that a parent who DOES NOT put up a memorial will be ridiculed behind their back for not putting one up? That would be a shame if we have reached that point.
#40 of 55 Re: Memorials..... [larsb]
Feb 28, 2007 (3:14 pm)
They aren't "hurting" anything in a real, defineable sense. But, at some point, one does cross the bounds between private grieving and attempting to wallow in the trough of public sympathy.
"Is it already so "trendy" that a parent who DOES NOT put up a memorial will be ridiculed behind their back for not putting one up? That would be a shame if we have reached that point."
I think 'ridicule' would be too strong. But I think that we HAVE reached the point that if a parent loses a child and they DON'T put up a little roadside memorial, some folks WILL wonder (out load) why they haven't done so. In a sense, I believe that it has become the 'expected' response.
#41 of 55 Dang! Roach and I...
Feb 28, 2007 (6:13 pm)
Mark the calendar...
Grief shared with loved ones and friends is cathartic; a way to give unreserved good will to each other to move forward. Little public shrines do zip, other than expose the public at large to something that ought to be personal.
Still, don't really care if they're there (unless they're out of hand), don't care if they have to go.
#42 of 55 Re: Dang! Roach and I... [wale_bate1]
Mar 01, 2007 (6:04 am)
dammit wale - now I've got to go and recheck my premise....
#43 of 55 Re: Dang! Roach and I... [wale_bate1]
by Kirstie@Edmunds HOST
Mar 02, 2007 (10:22 am)
It's not a huge issue to me either, but I do think that at a point it becomes cluttery and tacky (for the record, I'm a neat freak and I also hate billboards). Plus, I've seen some that are falling to pieces because they're erected and then not maintained... that's the same as litter.
And, they can become a distraction if there's a message, e.g., "Billy died here on xx date because he wasn't wearing his seatbelt. Don't let the same happen to you - buckle up and stay alive." That's too much to read.
#44 of 55 Getting out of hand
Mar 02, 2007 (10:17 pm)
I go by one of these memorials every day on my commute. It consists of 3 large white crosses, on the right side of the road. Originally, somewhat smaller crosses were in the median, but the state DOT (Virginia) deemed them a road hazard, so the replacements were put up on private land owned by a church.
The annoying thing is that they've been up since 1998!
I know the story behind the memorial. It seems one warm day nearly 9 years ago, a 17-year-old woman driving a Jeep Cherokee in the right lane of this 4-lane highway was distracted by a bee that flew inside her vehicle. She swerved to the left just as a Monte Carlo was starting to pass her in the left lane.
So, the 49-year-old woman driving the Monte Carlo swerved to her left, lost control in the median, rolled over and tumbled upside down into the oncoming lanes, where her car was hit by a Nissan Altima. Unfortunately, the woman had her nieces (I think) in the car, ages 10 and 4, who were completely unrestrained, ejected, and killed. The woman also was unbelted and killed.
IIRC, there were two women in the Altima who were not seriously injured.
I saw photos of the Monte Carlo. The roof was crushed somewhat in the front, but the rear part of the roof was okay. There is no doubt in my mind that if the kids had been properly restrained in the back seat, they would have survived, probably without serious injuries. I can't say for sure about the driver.
The husband of the fatally injured driver has maintained the crosses, which include the first names and ages of the deceased. He decorates them for every holiday, such as Valentine's Day, Easter, Halloween(!), and Christmas. Mylar birthday balloons are tied to the appropriate cross when the time comes. Right now, Christmas wreaths are still on the crosses. He planted 3 trees in the median where the Monte crossed over, but only one still survives.
The kicker is this guy was so obsessed that he stalked the local district attorney for not pressing charges against the teenager driving the Cherokee. He even received some kind of conviction (maybe a fine) for harassing said prosecutor.
I have this fantasy of ripping up those crosses out of the ground in the dark of night, carrying them away in my pickup, and dumping them in the woods at my workplace. Don't worry, I'll never actually do it!
There's another spot near Winchester, VA on US 522 where 5 similar crosses are erected in the median. The road is 4-lane, but rather curvy at that spot, and goes over a small creek. Must have been one heck of a crash.
#45 of 55 Re: Getting out of hand [210delray]
Mar 03, 2007 (5:18 am)
"The kicker is this guy was so obsessed that he stalked the local district attorney for not pressing charges against the teenager driving the Cherokee"
Sounds like a lot of dumb and dumber actions that led to this tragedy - starting with the victim not having herself or kids properly buckled in...
..but, the teenager that caused the accident should absolutely have been charged. Period. I'm sure that the judge/jury after hearing all of the facts, may have shown leniency. But whether she was 17, 47, or 87 it is a driver's responsibility to maintain control of a car and failure to do so is a chargeable offense. And yes, had the driver of the Monte carlo survived, she should have been charged as well for negligent homicide for the deaths of the kids.
The idea that the prosecutor independently decided to let the 17 year old off scott free is unconscionable. So what now, every minor distraction is a legitimate excuse for causing a fatal accident? If something like a bee in a car is an excuse for losing control, I would have killed a few dozen people by now in my 30+ years of driving