Remembering Loved Ones

I think most are stupid and cliche’ and stuck-on crooked and are often outdated political campaign slogans, but in the end, you can put on you bumper whatever kind of sticker you like.  I think if you want to support autism research, you shouldn’t have spent 2 bucks on a stupid magnet but instead make a donation to the charity.  Yes, I’m aware that some of the money goes to the charity, but very little of it.  I’ll admit “fuckin’ gonuts” in the fashion of Dunkin Donuts is kind of clever, but a Grateful Dead sticker is plain moronic.

In fact, it seems to me putting any words on the back of your vehicle is kind of dumb to begin with.  Yes, I do indeed have a single sticker on the back of each of my vehicles.  One is the very simple Sirius Radio dog, and the other is a Masonic square and compasses insignia.  I put these on so I can identify my car in a parking lot a little easier, and I don’t mind a bit of personalization.

However, one kind of bumper sticker really pisses me off.  It’s not on the bumper, but usually on the back or side windows.  It usually goes something like this:

“In loving memory of ‘Pop-Pop’, may he rest in peace, 1942-2006” or “In loving memory of Trish Cambell, beloved daughter, 1987-2002”

Having people read an eulogy on the side of your mini-van is tacky at best, and down-right disrespectful at worst.  First of all, the car is not in memory of anything except the fact that you realized walking to work or soccer practice everyday would be a bitch of a time.  Second, it shows just how god damned cheap you are that you opted for a 100 detail job at the local custom shop instead of a nice, traditional $1500 granite headstone.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one for cemeteries either.  I myself will be donated to science and hopefully my organs will go to someone who needs them.  But if I find out someone memorialized me on the side of their Honda Civic (with spinners and the word CIVIC sprawled across the windshield, no less), man will I be pissed.  Wake up people…everyone loses loved ones.  You’re not special just cause your daughter was killed by a drunk driver when she was only 15, you’re just damn unfortunate.  Don’t wear your heart on your sleeve every time you swing out to the store.  And I’ve got news for you…writing it in a fancy script font doesn’t make it more reverential, it makes it harder to read!

And another thing…stop leaving garbage on the side of the road pretending someone cares where your loved one died.  You don’t put flowers in the side of sharp bend in the road, you put them on a gravestone.  The only people who are entitled to have memorials at the exact spot that they died are martyrs and assassinated presidents.  That means your nephew, sister, or any other family member DOES NOT COUNT!

I understand the grieving process and I am sympathetic.  You can leave your flowers and candles and tacky pictures of Jesus on the side of the road…for one month.  Then, come back, clean up your mess, and get a respectable memorial somewhere else.  I cannot stand having to see a heap of rotten flowers on the side of the road week after week after week.  You should be fined for littering, and be ashamed of yourself for being cheapening the life of whomever you lost.  You’re only doing it so when other people that you know drive by, they think of you as a sentimental person for 20 seconds.

Don’t fool yourselves.  Remembering loved ones you’ve lost is something very private, and very special, and is something that should be cherished and shared with the loved ones you still have.  Publicly broadcasting your mourning cheapens the sentiment and shows your shallowness.  Find another, more meaningful way to express your emotional loss.  Donate time or money to a charity that will help others not have to go through what you went though.  Spend time with friends and family that can understand the gravity of your loss and help you cope.  Try to remember the positive memories you still have with that person.

Just… keep it to yourself.

3 Responses to “Remembering Loved Ones”

  1. Couldn’t disagree with you more bro… I keep a yin yang on my car because when my dad died… he had a yin yang on his rope necklace… it makes me feel better to see it every day… it reminds me of him whenever I see it… and it in some odd way comforts me. It’s not that you can’t feel how you feel… but honestly if it helps someone to get through the day bu putting “RIP John Doe” on their car then I say do it… it IS personal and it IS NOT hurting you… if you don’t like it… don’t look… I personally am more offended when people dye their hair every shade of the ranbow… that is meaningless and does nothing except gain cheap attention… just a point ya know… to each his or her own. But I can tell you this… that yin yang will be with me in some way or another for as long as I am still on this big blue planet. Much love

  2. I won’t disagree with the power of your emotions Jimmie, but it seems to me that we’re not in such complete disagreement. Putting a yin-yang on your car is both subtle and tasteful. I’ve got no problem with that and never will. I still think tagging your Hummer with the words that belong on a gravestone is downright tacky, though.

  3. There was actually an articile about road side memorials in the Philly Inquirer about a year ago. Apparently up around Lincoln Dr. there are plenty(doesn’t surprise me since that road twists more than a lemon in your martini) and people in the area were getting kind of freaked out by the presence of all those flowers and crosses. Those who had placed them there said it was helpful to them in moving on since that was the last place their loved one had been before they passed. Those who live in the area and constantly have to see it, feel bad, but still think it’s a little warped.
    We have a big memorial(or did, looks like it has diminished a bit) at the end of C.Folley by 73. I am sure you’ve seen it Ryan, it’s for “Allison” It is ashame because from the looks of it she was probably just a teenager. But it kinda falls into the same catergory as the website “MyDeathSpace” where people’s myspace profiles are memorialized in the same manner, but now it says when they died, how they died, and who remembers them. Equally as depressing, and equally as morbid. I’ve been on that website and it gives me the creeps.
    I respect peoples different styles of mourning, but I can understand that not everyone wants to view or remember that someone died their by car accident. But it does remind us to make our days last and to drive a bit more carefully

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