Its a done deal that I am not of a religious bent and so there are some things that I neither understand, comprehend or even pretend to want to know about.
And I confess absolutely and unashamedly about not knowing where the line in the sand is drawn between “genuine” religions and Derek Acorah (for instance), I know that one of them has life after death on its agenda but just not sure which one, or is it both ?
Memorials have always puzzled me too, I mean gravestones are easy enough to explain for if you’ve just buried a dead relative in a field you’d probably want to remember where, a stone would mark the spot in a most excellent fashion, you could even write something on it, their name for instance, just so you remember and all, not sure that the eight foot marble weeping angel on a plinth is absolutely necessary, but each to his own, maybe they need to recall to memory what the dead relative looks like now.
Memorials for cremated people are a different matter though as they tend to be scattered across the whole field and not just buried in one spot, or as the case may be scattered across a golf course, a football field, or in the case of dozens of friends of my father, transported in a cardboard box in his suitcase and scattered on Benidorm beach and/or the gardens at The Don Pancho Hotel (delete which is not applicable), he had a bugger of a job tipping the ashes out of his pocket while strolling innocently around the Don Pancho, some of which ended up in the swimming pool and most of which ended up at the dry cleaners the next time he sent his pants in for cleaning.
Which brings me to the delicate issue of roadside memorials.
I’m not sure for I have never bothered to research, but I’ve never heard of a religious rule that states that you must always return to the site of a relatives death in order to recall them properly for if that was the case then old folks nursing homes across the land would be inundated with weeping relatives clutching bundles of floral tributes each and every weekend, the bed by the fire exit probably being the most popular place to lay their flowers as its a well known fact that the most doddery of the elderly are gradually shuffled toward the fire exit as their demise becomes more imminent, the fire exit usually being the only opening double door in the building and least likely to cause distress than wheeling them out cold and dead through reception.
So why tie bundles of garage forecourt flowers and/or football scarves and/or teddy bears to recently mis-shapen traffic signs or slightly scuffed telegraph poles ?
Yes, its cheaper than commissioning an eight foot high weeping angel in italiante marble, with or without encarved quote from GK Chesterton, if a little unsightly when the flowers die, not to mention a tad off putting to other passing motorists who may have only just hit the brakes on time because they were trying to read the epitaphs rather than notice that the bend went all the way around and not straight through the field like your poor dead relative thought the other night.
Is it really the case that the dead can only be contacted in the place where they passed over (in the parlance of that ex Blue Peter bint who seems to have cornered the market on prime time Saturday morning Living Channel by the simple process of looking passible on infra-red cameras), are scuffed trees and bended railings really haunted by the souls of those who’s last words where “oops!” or for that matter are the cellars of old buildings genuinely haunted by other people who died a long time ago in that aforementioned old building and why is Yvette Fielding the only ex Blue Peter bint who can hear them, does dear nearly dead (surely by now) Val Singleton also commune with the long passed, or even Mark Curry, does anyone commune with Mark Curry any more, not even his agent ?
From what I recall of the religion thing they speak of a promised land or a place high up in the clouds called heaven where all the dead people go, so why do some get left behind forever to haunt a bent “40mph” sign on the A64, sitting around in ghostly silence on the kerbside waiting for one of their relatives to bring them fresh flowers of a weekend, until those relatives either forget or the football season starts again and they have something else to do ?
What is the significance of leaving flowers tied to roadside things where people have died, and why does an eight foot weeping angel in a graveyard not suffice these people ?