Does this just happen in the South?

The Friday Photo
March 28, 2014

photo credit Phyllis Bowen

photo credit Phyllis Bowen

For some time now I’ve wondered what the intent is behind putting the words “in memory of” on vehicles.

Did the driver buy the car in honor of the deceased? Are they driving in memory of the deceased?

When you trade the vehicle in, is there any type of decal removal etiquette? Does selling it mean the period of mourning is over?

And what about putting this type of thing other places? When a member of the wellness center I belong to died, a simple note was taped to the door reading, “In Memory of Jane Doe.” What was now “in memory of”? The entire building? Just the door?

What does it say about our culture that we have to put decals about a death on things like cars and doors and tailgates? Who benefits, besides the decal companies?

About Katherine Helms Cummings

During the day I am a social and environmental activist whose professional work has been in the nonprofit world for the last 12 years. Most nights and weekends I am an artisan making accessories with upcycled cashmere and woven textiles. My handmade items are available at The Sassy Gal http://thesassygal.org
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One Response to Does this just happen in the South?

  1. lauraleeclark says:

    Everyone grieves in a different way. The people posting their grief benefit from taking an action of creating a memorial. There are fake flowers on a post at one of the busiest intersections in my town where a dynamic civic minded highly educated young woman died tragically, and on crosses alongside freeways where people ran off the road and died in the dark. No different than painting a memorial to a loved one on the tailgate of a truck. My parents were cremated and there is no headstone for me to visit, no memorial anywhere tangible that I can go to to cry, or smile, to sit quietly in contemplation. No flowers to put anywhere.