Wednesday, February 10, 2010

farmdoc's blog post number 661

I’m not a cemetery person. The essence of those I love and who have died are in my heart, even though their physical remains are in cemeteries. So I feel no need to visit cemeteries to remember, or feel close to, those loved ones. But I can understand why people feel the need to visit graves. As I can similarly understand those who erect roadside memorials (i.e. shrines) where relatives or friends died in road crashes. I’ve seen several of those shrines. And I’m sure you’ve seen them too. I’ve never stopped to study one close up, however. Clearly their position marks the accident location. But also the composition of some of them is apposite. For example a toy motorcycle. If these shrines bring comfort and (dare I write it) closure to surviving relatives and friends, then the shrines are worthwhile. And if their location draws the attention of passing road users to the location of a fatal crash, so much the better. The problem is, I suppose, that if the shrines aren’t maintained in good condition, they look untidy. And after a period of time (whose length I don’t know) they lose their original purpose(s). Set against this background, this item in last Thursday’s Age interested me. The fixed 30-day period specified by Bolton Council (in northern England) seems a bit harsh. Australian authorities are seemingly more relaxed and, intentionally or not, compassionate. I agree, of course, that these shrines shouldn’t compromise road safety. Not even one iota.

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