Sunday, 18 January 2009

A wayside shrine

About two years ago a young man aged about 20 was killed on the nearby main road. Ever since people have been lodging flowers between two branches of a tree at the side of the road. I don't think those responsible live at the house nearest to the tree, because I've seen someone arrive, deposit flowers and the leave.

Recently I noticed a few Christmas decorations and two paper plates with bits of food. I suspect someone had delivered Christmas dinner, though only potatoes were left when I noticed it, so I expect the foxes had eaten the rest.

I suppose that paying tributes to the victim may now have become such a deeply ingrained habit, that to stop would feel disloyal. I find it most depressing.

I wish people would think of less banal ways of remembering someone. One could read some of their favourite books, or tend their favourite part of the garden, though not in an obsessive attempt to preserve it in precisely the same state as they knew it, and there is always the traditional memorial - a tombstone.

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