I know they've been out there before, but lately I've seen more and more of these car memorials. I'm not quite sure I understand the need for these. These days I drive by, pass, with, and around six of them that I see all the time. Including one done in soap on the rear view window. Which lets me know just how often that person washes their car.
Is death now such a venerated event that the living are no longer able to escape the memorial and grieving processes? I mean, all those that I've known who are now passed the veil I remember and carry with me. As Robert Persig put it, the holes they left in the skein of my life ache when I think about them. But eventually those places scab over. I know they're there. I live keeping in mind they are dead, but I don't feel trapped by them. I carry their memory with me. I get melancholy when I think that my grandfather never knew the man he helped me become. My grandmother isn't here to read my writings. More friends than I want to catalog never saw graduation, college, marriage, or adult relationships and friendships.
I'm at an age where people around me are dealing with the loss of parents and siblings. Some of my friends have dealt with those issues for a long time. If we all had to carry the weight of our dead, constantly, we would dishonor and disrespect them because we would not be able to live.
I appreciate the need to mark someone's passing, especially those close to us. I also respect the traditions of caring for the graves of our relatives (even as it is done in other cultures which include direct contact with the body of the diseased on an on going basis). But I'm not sure I understand the need to show this to the rest of the world. And maybe that's what is bothering me about this. I'm not sure marking ones car this way is about remembering the friends or family that are no longer with us, but is more about the person doing the memorial.