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WIBU?- Roadside shrines

(443 Posts)
Arnoldthecat Sun 03-Mar-19 08:13:21

This is more of a ..would i be not want a roadside shrine directly outside my house/garden gate/in close proximity..?

UtterlyDesperate Wed 06-Mar-19 17:37:00

@toffeeghirlinatwirl apologies: I didn't see your beautiful and heartfelt post until now. Your explanation about Hillsborough makes complete sense (I'm so glad your family survived) - and I am so sorry about your sister flowers. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.

Thank you so much for sharing in such an articulate way - I found it both very moving but also very educational. I'm following the Hillsborough trial at the moment with a mixture of anger and incredulity, so I can only imagine how much it must be stirring emotions for those involved. Have you heard Sheila Coleman speak about the campaign for justice? She's incredible and inspirational, but it's frankly shocking that there even needed to be a campaign to deliver justice angry

I think I'm right in saying that there's a permanent memorial now at Anfield?

I would love to see roadside shrines in the UK of the type you find in Catholic countries. But I don't think there's the same aesthetic of them as the impromptu shrines this post is focusing on. It's a very interesting discussion, though.

stopfuckingshoutingatme Wed 06-Mar-19 13:38:55

It’s so mean

A teenage girl was murdered near us . When she was missing we had ribbons everywhere . We came across a memorial for her near where she dies and we wept . Flowers were piled up for ages and I left some . For me it was a sign that my hard hearted city does have a heart beating . It showed her parents that the community were genuinely sad for their tragic tragic loss

I find some views so callous

SchadenfreudePersonified Wed 06-Mar-19 08:53:20


My heart aches for your pain. It is obviously with you every day, and you hold your sister in your heart.

THAT is where a memorial should be.

Not in a pile of rotten vegetation or plastic tat that over-dramatic individuals emote over for a week and then forget, or in competitive "you wiz took 2 soon" messages on FB - grief (as has been pointed out already) isn't a competition.

We found out that our local lollypop man had died because there were flowers beside his crossing area. Buckets were set up in local shops and at the schools to collect for the British Heart Foundation (I don't know how much was collected, but it will have been a LOT - he was a lovely man, and very popular).

On the day of his funeral, the cortege was driven past "his' schools, and the children and teachers lined the pavement to say goodbye. AT the end of the week the tributes were collected up and disposed of.

It was a lovely, fitting "good-bye", it gave children the opportunity to learn about loss in a safe environment, and the very fact that it wasn't prolonged, with morbid signs of death all over for weeks, meant that it had more impact - AND told them (implicitly) that it was alright to move on, and continue to enjoy life, because death is part of a very natural process.

It doesn't mean we forget the ones we loved, to that we wouldn't give our eye teeth to hug them once more- it means that we keep them in the place that they deserve - our hearts. I miss my mam and dad and grannie so much that even now it makes me weep (they all had very distressing deaths), but I know that none of them would want me or my children to be paralysed by grief, or to litter the countryside with junk!

There are many acceptable ways of providing a physical memorial, if that's what you feel you need. A number have been mentioned upthread. Explore one of these, and now that you aren't just remembering them, but aren't harming, and are often helping, others.

(I would say, though, as regards to "self-pity" city (what a vile remark!), there are some things that are so terrible - and so avoidable - that a permanent reminder is appropriate. The behaviour of the authorities during the disaster and its aftermath never should be forgotten. That's why MPs, etc don't like it - it's a reminder of THEIR inadequacy and lack of care. I'm glad that the memorial continues to rub their noses in it.)

AcrossthePond55 Wed 06-Mar-19 01:21:27

No longer mourn for me when I am dead
Then you shall hear the surly sullen bell
Give warning to the world that I am fled
From this vile world, with vilest worms to dwell:
Nay, if you read this line, remember not
The hand that writ it; for I love you so
That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot
If thinking on me then should make you woe.
O, if, I say, you look upon this verse
When I perhaps compounded am with clay,
Do not so much as my poor name rehearse.
But let your love even with my life decay,
Lest the wise world should look into your moan
And mock you with me after I am gone.

Shakespeare- Sonnet 71.

limitedperiodonly Tue 05-Mar-19 21:15:48

Or English

limitedperiodonly Tue 05-Mar-19 21:12:14

Do you know what depresses me Treezylover? That people think that mawkish tat constitutes British working class culture.

ReanimatedSGB Tue 05-Mar-19 20:26:11

Actually, there's another thing some bereaved people do which is also, bluntly, useless attention-seeking, and that's to set up 'personal' charities which they can't run properly. By all means fundraise in the name of your lost loved one, but pick the appropriate existing charity (many charities have some sort of name-labelling thing so you can register who you're doing it for...)

ReanimatedSGB Tue 05-Mar-19 20:03:00

Treezy, what a crock of shit. Why can't these people, you know, comfort themselves and each other by building their tat mountains in a cemetery or in their own homes. Everyone loses friends and family members and every one of us is going to die - we don't need the whole world buried under crap.

Treezylover Tue 05-Mar-19 18:58:12

This thread is such a depressing reflection of our society. Shrines on Greek islands are lovely (even though they are also quite often there because of dangerous driving, and to a God most of us don’t believe in), but in England? Well it’s common and cheap and those people who died deserved it and their mourners can’t even spell, how dare they publicise their grief and not just hide in shame in their empoverished council flat where they belong?


limitedperiodonly Tue 05-Mar-19 17:56:50

Catsinthecupboard with respect I do not accept your views and find your approach to be emotional blackmail.

If I were to pass by that tree where that boy you knew burned to death in his car, I wouldn't know. Why would I? I don't live there.

I would just drive by at a reasonable speed because I am a good driver and a responsible person. I might spot the pile of crap there out of the corner of my eye but I would just think it was rubbish and keep my eyes on the road ahead.

It would mean nothing to me. The idea that these piles of crap are a contribution to road safety is rubbish. And i f I lived opposite the place where he died I would be mightily pissed off by people leaving crap there rather than the council doing something to calm the traffic and improve the road right outside my house.

The sensible thing to do to avoid another boy burning to death in his car is for the council to improve the road with layouts and signs, isn't it?

CruCru Tue 05-Mar-19 17:49:45

Someone upthread mentioned scattering wildflower seeds as a memorial. I know it sounds a bit weird to say but please don’t do this on land you don’t own. There are wildflowers specific to certain areas (coastal and others) which can get pushed out by “standard” wildflower mixes that get used when people are guerilla gardening.

emilybrontescorsett Tue 05-Mar-19 17:18:05

I think planting bulbs by the roadside is a lovely idea.

toffeeghirlinatwirl Tue 05-Mar-19 17:05:45

Yabbers and WillGym thank you xxx

WillGymForPizza Tue 05-Mar-19 14:23:25

toffeegirlinawhirl I love your city and it's people. It's my favourite UK city after London. I love the people and way you all look out for each other. I suspect comments about such 'self pity' come from jealous bitter people who come from places where the sense of community has disappeared.

Yabbers Tue 05-Mar-19 13:33:34


❤️❤️ sending a virtual hug ❤️❤️

toffeeghirlinatwirl Tue 05-Mar-19 12:03:08

It has taken 17 pages for me to plough through for someone to correctly state that it predated Diana by almost a decade.
My grandmother died on the morning of Hillsborough. It was too late to catch her grandchildren who had set off to either Sheffield (Liverpool match) or Birmingham (Everton match). We’d gathered as a family to grieve as a tally on Grandstand started tottering up deaths. My nan was temporarily forgotten as we realised what was happening and that my cousins had tickets for the end of the ground where the crush was happening in front of our eyes. (Already wrongly being labelled hooligans as they desperately fought to get onto the pitch to gasp air. But I digress.)
I lived 5 minutes walk from LFC at the time. The club opened the ground early the next morning for people to show their respects. The whole of the pitch and the kop terrace quickly became a sea of flowers and football memorabilia. Incidentally, my cousins returned safely minus two friends (one dead, one hospitalised.) It was too raw for me to visit and I regret I didn’t even today though I used to go around to the purpose built memorial.

However, the press turned on our city. Sneered at our collective grief. I’m not even on about vile untruths in a certain red top but columnists in respectable broadsheets. We were coined with the label “self pity city” which Boris Johnson was still perpetuating not that long ago.
This cruel label also got banded about by the media after a shrine grew near the railway track were James Bulger’s body was discovered, a few years later. The mail/ express/ times were especially nasty.
I recall reporters in the city asking people what was it with our open display of grief. Why were we all so morbid, etc. If I’m not mistaken, a similar outpouring of grief occurred when Bobby Moore died around the same time but he was a national treasure and there was none of the shitty snobbery about his shrine.
It tended to become a phenomena nationwide throughout the 90s.

As an aside. It’s my sister’s 3rd anniversary today (suicide). I’m going to church to quietly light a candle and reflect on her life now. I’m scared to open social media as the usual culprits are “heartbroken” etc which angers me so much. Not that heartbroken that they have ever been there for her kids since or anything. I’ve discussed this on MN before. It’s all for the likes and weeping emojis and the “thinking of you hun” for crap old acquaintances/ associates.

I think I’ve totally projected my pain on to this thread. I apologise. FWIW I’m always upset when I see an unkempt roadside shrine and agree they should be taken down. However, I don’t believe people are being showy when they lay things in the immediate aftermath of a tragedy. It’s just a natural urge to pay respect.
I’ve placed flowers for a local little boy knocked down crossing the road outside school. It didn’t enter my mind, in that moment, that I was contributing to environmental waste. In future, if I ever did feel the urge to do the same, I shall remove the cellophane.

vintanner Tue 05-Mar-19 09:59:00

When I go the only thing I want is a legal service, no 'party' for people who I haven't seen or spoken to for years to come and pay their respects - I say pay them now - if we have lost touch, so be it.

I only want to be in the memories of people I love and who loved me.

A 'place' for people to visit is both a waste of time and effort and buying flowers, etc. only benefits the people selling them, not the person who has passed.

The reason for the plastic or silk flowers placed on graves (as I know) is that people have moved far away from their loved one's grave so can only visit rarely but still they would like it to look nice and as for planting trees and/or bulbs, that is not always possible, my grandparents', parents', brothers' grave has been sealed with concrete so therefore nothing would grow!

I hate seeing real flowers that have been left to rot, that is way more disrespectful than the fake flowers or nothing there at all.

I see no benefit to leaving mementos at the side of the road following an accident, my brother was killed when a car hit him on a country road with no path to walk on and if we had placed things there, it really would have caused problems and it wouldn't have been safe for us to do so, and really, it wouldn't have made our feelings any different.

Arnoldthecat Tue 05-Mar-19 09:56:05

grin grin

Tudorprincess4564 Tue 05-Mar-19 07:30:27

I asked my dad when he was dying if he wanted flowers and a shrine. He said I'd prefer it if you took your foot off the oxygen pipe

sparkling123 Tue 05-Mar-19 03:18:20

I don't have a problem with them, but then I lost 2 School friends in car crashes on rural roads before I was 18. Losing someone in a car crash is horrific for the family, they never got to say goodbye, and I think they serve as a better reminder to drivers to slow down than any official road sign.
I don't think you're being unreasonable, they can look tatty, but this is a life that's been taken early so a little bit of clutter on the roadside seems like a trivial thing to be annoyed about.

Catsinthecupboard Tue 05-Mar-19 03:11:42

Thank you for your kind words. I wish i could give them to his parents.

Regrading my dc remembering him; It's been 2 years, i hope that they remember him fondly, perhaps with a smile, now. He'd left a party and people had tried to stop him. While my dc knew him, the people he had been with immediately prior have had more difficulty than mine.

The details were devastating to all the young people, all the people, in our community.

Our ds has begun making window breaking tools. He sells them, gives them to friends and family and they are in all of our cars. It's been a profound effect on them.

It is difficult to write about. But i wanted to give a different perspective about memorials.

I used to see an older man and a child tending a white cross by my mother's. I wondered if it was the child/parent's marker. Their marker wasn't acting for attention; they had to walk through a field and down an embankment.

Before my dc's friend died, i thought much like other posters. But, since then (I've mentioned before, apologies) my dd was hit while stopped, by distracted drivers, and received traumatic brain injuries. She's recovering, although will probably not fully recover.

At this point, if anything at all helps people drive more safely, i'm for it.

I am not trying to "get attention" by posting this. I don't even seem to be able to write clearly about this. I'm sorry.

My dd, that poor young man, his surviving twin, our community. Most of us are lucky enough to love and be loved. If a marker helps remind us to be more careful and thus helps avert tragedy, i don't mind clutter.

I just wing up a prayer and try to drive more carefully.

llizzie Tue 05-Mar-19 02:53:54

People lay flowers at a death scene because they feel they want to do something to help the bereaved. Personally I have never done this and I have very mixed feelings about the practice, but if it relieves the anxiety folk feel when there is a tragedy and it helps them deal with it, then I think we should accept it and not let it pray on our minds.

StoneofDestiny Tue 05-Mar-19 00:40:44

knew not new 🙄

ReanimatedSGB Tue 05-Mar-19 00:23:37

Any and every display of flowers/balloons/mouldy teddies that is not actually in a cemetary is tacky and the work of sentimental, attention-seeking twats, tbh. Cellotaphs are ugly, smelly, a waste of resources and a nuisance. As several PP have said, you don't get to clutter up hospital beds with crap, or other people's front rooms because someone you know dropped dead while visiting them.

TakeNoSHt Tue 05-Mar-19 00:04:30

Nothing wrong with remembering where someone took their last breath probably alone without any family or friends to help. It happened to a member of my family, we planted bulbs to flower around the time of their birthday. I know someone killed by lorry driver error on their bike, there is a ghost bike. I also know people killed as pedestrians when a car mounted the footpath some only children all seperate incidents. Floweres are left, prayer cards etc tied to lampposts. People should not be so judgy and maybe put themselves in the shoes of the people left behind with many unanswered questions.
Are flowers left in the UK remembering the lives lost in terror attacks tacky?
If there is a problem the council will deal with it

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