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AIBU to not "get" mass public mourning?

(542 Posts)
BabyMummy29 Sun 19-Jan-14 16:22:47

Thinking of the sad case of the little boy in Edinburgh at the moment, but on so many occasions nowadays people leave flowers, toys etc when they didn't even know the person concerned,

Wouldn't they be better spending the money on a donation to a charity.

I just don't get it at all. Fair enough if you knew the person involved. but not otherwise.

Supercosy Sun 19-Jan-14 16:27:28

Really? Haven't you ever felt incredibly moved or touched by the loss of someone that you didn't know and wanted to acknowledge their life or show their family that you care? Often people do send money to a charity as well or do some fundraising. I think it's one of the few things to feel glad about in a very sad situation like this, that a community want to come together in this way.

squoosh Sun 19-Jan-14 16:27:53

A lot of people sneer at it and it's not something that would occur to me to do but I think people are genuinely moved when a child dies and this is just a modern way for people to express their sadness and horror. The intentions behind it come from a good place.

Stuff like the Diana outpouring howver I really didn't get.

WorraLiberty Sun 19-Jan-14 16:28:55

Leaving flowers isn't necessarily a display of 'mass public mourning'...but more a mark of respect for the dead and a display of sympathy for the family.

Imo 'mass public mourning', tends to go on on Facebook/Twitter etc...where some of the posts would lead you to believe the author was family rather than the stranger they are.

Weelady77 Sun 19-Jan-14 16:28:55

It's just a mark of respect!

winterchunderland Sun 19-Jan-14 16:29:05


I really don't get it either.

Bowlersarm Sun 19-Jan-14 16:30:22

I haven't left flowers for someone I don't know. But I can understand why people do it. It's a physical display of sympathy which can be seen and acknowledged.

Oblomov Sun 19-Jan-14 16:31:25

I don't get it either.

MomentForLife Sun 19-Jan-14 16:31:48

Yanbu to not get it personaly but YAB a bit U to question why others would do it.

Me neither

Pagwatch Sun 19-Jan-14 16:32:51

I don't understand it.
I am generally a 'mourn/grieve as you like' person
But it bothers me slightly. Sometimes people seem to want to draw a line between themselves and tragedy. It's uncomfortable to me

Catsmamma Sun 19-Jan-14 16:34:14

I don't get it either, I think it is a bit ghoulish tbh.

WitchWay Sun 19-Jan-14 16:34:19

I think it's very selfish & all about the mourner not about about the deceased. Being seen to be doing & a bit gloaty really. I hate it.

YouTheCat Sun 19-Jan-14 16:35:25

Pretty much what Pagwatch said.

SharpLily Sun 19-Jan-14 16:36:13

Nope, it baffles me too.

clarinetV2 Sun 19-Jan-14 16:36:56

I don't get it either, OP. I can understand members of the immediate community wanting to come together and show support (though, honestly, I think it's mystifying why leaving a cuddly toy to go mouldy is seen as an appropriate way to demonstrate care and support) but this vicarious outpouring of grief by people who don't know the person involved or anyone connected with them is odd to me and seems to have more to do with celebrity culture and the need to 'be part of history' than any real feelings of grief.

In the case of the little boy in Edinburgh, I think it's desperately sad that a small child has died/been killed, and I don't have evidence to say that some of those leaving toys and flowers have nothing to do with the family, so I'm not being judgey about this particular case. But in answer to the OP's actual question, YANBU.

everlong Sun 19-Jan-14 16:37:29


I think if this little boy had lived in my area and I had been out searching for him, I would want to leave him some flowers. Somehow I guess it would feel different because it was close to home.

chubbychipmonk Sun 19-Jan-14 16:38:24

This is the exact question I asked my DH this morning! I don't get it either!

TravellingToad Sun 19-Jan-14 16:38:38

I don't get it. Find it quite weird seeing little children going forward with flowers and candles. They didn't know him. It doesn't sit right.

BabyMummy29 Sun 19-Jan-14 16:39:14

Supercosy I have often felt that something on the news is very sad or tragic but would never feel that I had to go to the scene and leave something.

HereIsMee Sun 19-Jan-14 16:39:37

I think it's so sad that the child died that I can understand. Their were so many people who didn't know him out looking for him. It seems understandable people want to do something. It was so public. I think it's reasonable when people feel somehow touched by a public figure or something that happens publicly. It's not always about feeling sad for a loved one it is sometimes about showing human compassion and respect.

BookroomRed Sun 19-Jan-14 16:40:36

Neither do I. I first moved to this country just after Princess Diana died, and was absolutely baffled by the public weepiness. It seemed deeply 'unEnglish' to me.

I haven't stopped thinking about that poor little boy since the search began - and the numbers that joined the search were heartening - but if I'm entirely honest, the sight of complete strangers leaving teddybears and flowers in the street in his memory disturbs me. (Not just for Mikaeel Kular, for any deaths of strangers.) It strikes me as an easy form of self-indulgence in fake sentimentalism.

nennypops Sun 19-Jan-14 16:42:09

I particularly don't get the cuddly toys thing. How does leaving a toy out to get dirty and wet demonstrate respect or sympathy?

I felt the same when I walked past a memorial bench on which had been left two plastic Christmas wreaths. Surely they should be removed now?

Weelady77 Sun 19-Jan-14 16:43:12

The majority of that community didn't know him BUT the majority of that community went out in hope and looked for that wee soul,there only marking there respect!

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