I feel the memory of our loved ones is in our hearts. If it were me, I would find a blank card for the family and be honest and clear as possible. Keep it simple: "Please understand, I mean no disrespect but cannot continue to have any memorial items on the property. After (put date here), all items will be removed. Please inform family and friends."
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Fitness Minutes: (12,395)
1,695 11/9/13 10:02 A
I lost my father on an interstate in South Dakota in 1970. I would be devastated to see a "memorial" at the crash site. I have an image in my heart of the daddy I had as a little girl. I want to keep it that way.
Edited by: TINA8605 at: 11/9/2013 (10:03)
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Fitness Minutes: (41,568)
11/9/13 9:52 A
I agree Patti - maybe allow flowers etc for one month after the accident but no more.
There's a lamp post not far from me where dead flowers hung for years! A young man was killed in a road accident in a police chase - I never knew whether the flowers were put there in memory of the young man or as a protest against the police. Fresh flowers were put there every now and then - and left to rot. And somebody kept this up for around 15 years. In fact I honestly don't know whether they're still doing it. Certainly most people seeing the flowers have no idea who the young man was, but remember the incident of him refusing to stop and racing off when police were chasing him and being killed when he crashed the car. Far better to put the flowers in the cemetery where those who loved him would remember him for the young man that he was - not for whatever crime prompted the police chase!
Just my opinion, but cemeteries are the places for markers, flowers, and other memorial tributes to a deceased person. Not our streets. What will be like in 20 or 30 years from now when every roadside and corner looks like a cemetery? I'm for making a law which prohibits these displays. Over time, they look worn and trashy. Sorry if I don't sound sensitive -- I have had deaths in my family too. I try to keep it real.
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Fitness Minutes: (33,883)
2,045 11/9/13 1:28 A
Thank you all for your responses. I never thought about it possible being painful for the family to see this display. My friend lives on a main street and since I'm assuming the family lives in the area, it would be hard for them to avoid.
I think my friend will be relieved to just toss most of it as soon as possible and hopefully people will stop. I was talking to her this morning and she is planning to call the school to ask about setting up a memorial site there. She is offering to make the first donation to get a fund started.
I think the idea of speaking to the family, family friend or school about setting up a memorial site and letting people know to go there instead s a good idea. I do think that the owner of the property could politely ask people not to leave items in her yard and put up a sign that says items left there will be disposed of immediately and people should go to the XYZ cemetary or proper memorial site.
@OP, I think the mindset of you and your friend is compassionate and correct The young woman's soul is not residing in the memorial.
The owner of the property has been kind, done the best she could to be gentle with the family's feelings and has done so for a year. That is more than enough. I would not, personally, have let the memorial reside on my property beyond a few days.
The sign idea is a good one, but honestly that just again intrudes on the privacy of the lady who owns the house. It could help for a while, but the owner just has to keep looking at it and being reminded of the sad accident.
It is not unusual for memorials such as this to spring up. One very sad incident in my neighborhood resulted in a heartbreaking memorial being on a street near housing starts for several years. The memorial was eventually just taken down, not sure by whom.
Sad as it all is, memorials should be in the hearts and minds of those who knew and loved the person in their life, and in memorial parks or private homes of the family or other designated place, not just springing up on the property of a resident who has no connection. That is very unfair and your friend has been very kind and patient and if it were me I would, I guess, put up a temporary sign, gently worded with please and thank you, and I would immediately remove all memorial items from my property.
Just my opinion.
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11/8/13 9:22 A
I would leave the things 1 week and then throw out everything that cannot be donated. After that, remove things immediately as they are left.
Personally, I very much dislike these street memorials that mark the spot where people were killed. Like someone else mentioned, I'll bet it wasn't the family that set this up (and any family that ever chooses to do this also has the responsibility to keep it maintained and clean and only leave it there for a reasonable amount of time) and I personally wouldn't burden the family with giving them the things that are left. I think it must be a horrible reminder to the family about where the exact death occurred--I doubt any family needs a street memorial to remember (and remind them of) exactly where someone was killed, it's probably better and more helpful for them to remember a loved one's life. I also think that these street memorials just look trashy in general and the stuff does turn into trash in just a few days. The cemetery is the proper place for people to leave flowers, etc.
I think that this sort of thing has been popularized by our media as they love to show the street memorial scene and talk about people leaving things there, on the street, where someone was killed (and it's the media that benefits because their footage of this sort of things draws viewers--the family does not benefit). Before the media decided that they love showing video of these things, street memorials were very few and far between and most people thought they were odd when they did show up (and they invariably remained very small because most people would not leave things there). I had a couple of friends killed in a car accidents (two separate incidents) when I was a kid and NO ONE would have ever thought to mark either spot by leaving stuff there.
i would say she should get in contact with the family friend that delivered the first load of stuff and ask them to help facilitate a solution. in other words, mention that all of this stuff is rotting on her lawn. ask if it's okay to take the flowers the next day to a nursing home or hospital to help brighten up someone else's day. ask if it's okay to grab the teddy bears and keep them in a box to donate to toys for tots or some other program where they will get hugged, not turn into pulp. and if they are okay with that, contact an agency that might do pickups so all your friend as to do is grab some of the stuff if it looks like rain. and if the family wants the stuff, ask that the friend set up a schedule of other friends of the family to maintain the site.
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Fitness Minutes: (82,255)
11/8/13 7:26 A
I would go to the news or the paper and have them print something as a follow up (a year later type of thing) which refers to a more permanent monument other than this woman's lawn.
Agree with everyone else - and if it continues after the one year anniversary, definitely look into erecting a more permanent memorial somewhere more appropriate
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Fitness Minutes: (0)
306 11/8/13 3:53 A
I don't think they will do this again after the one year anniversary. I would put up a sign private property, please do not leave memorial items on lawn. You allowed it the first time and you do not have to continue to allow it. They can go to a church and have a memorial.
Fitness Minutes: (788)
11/8/13 12:46 A
They had a discussion about this on the radio once and many families of the victims called in to say that they did not like it when these memorials were set up. One young man said that he had to avoid driving where his brother was killed while riding a bike because well-meaning friends had an on-going memorial where the accident occurred and ever time he saw the memorial it made the memory too fresh. I had always assumed the family members were the one that set up the display, but according to many people that called in that day it was friends of the victims.
11/8/13 12:44 A
I feel bad for your friend this is a tough situation, I usually see this on the highways but to have it in front of your home. I mean you don't want to be disrespectful and I'm sure people don't mean any harm when they leave things it's a way for them to process losing this person. I say maybe leave it there for a day or so and then take it down, but this could be costly for your friend as I know where I live we have to pay for our trash bags and if a lot is being left the cost is on your friend. I feel bad not sure what I'd do.
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Fitness Minutes: (33,883)
2,045 11/8/13 12:43 A
Good ideas. She was 16 ish if I remember right. Maybe talking to the school about setting up a memorial for this girl and future kids would help both my friend and the kids.
We have a memorial wall at my hospital, honoring people who died while employed at the hospital. Maybe the school would be open to the ide and the kids could do fundraisers to participate in the process.
It's such a difficult situation. I No one wants to be mean or disrespectful. we were fluctuating between leaving it for now out of respect and sending it on in a month or so or boxing it up as it appers and sending it on to the family. Neither of us knows the family which makes it harder.
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
3,293 11/8/13 12:24 A
Wow, that is tough.
I think that she should check with the city to see if there are any ordinances that could give her guidance.
Once the anniversary passes, removing things right away is probably the best bet. Maybe a No Trespassing sign would be helpful.
Was this a teenager? Maybe she could talk to the local high school. When I was that age two friends died in a car accident. We built a permanent memorial on the school grounds, which seemed to help channel the group grief. I bet that after a year or two, these young people will grow up, move on and forget about this, so your friend might be left in peace sometime soon.
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Fitness Minutes: (19,090)
1,724 11/7/13 11:35 P
Wow, I've never really thought about this before. I'd think that if your friend just immediately picks up and throws away/gives away anything left on her property, people would eventually stop leaving things. If she leaves the display, people will continue to leave stuff. Given that she's got a way to get word to the family, maybe she could let the family know that she means no disrespect.
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Fitness Minutes: (33,883)
2,045 11/7/13 10:48 P
I have a friend in a difficult situation. A young lady was killed in a car accident in front of her house a year ago. The usual street memorial immediately sprang up...on her property. She has been very kind about this display despite the candles left burning unattended during high risk fire season. She has slowly and discretely thrown away dead flowers, rotting teddy bears, water soaked posters and other items that had become quite nasty. She nicely boxed up items that had not been destroyed by the weather and arranged to have it delivered to the family by a friend of the family. Now, it's coming back. People are dropping off stuff for the 1 year anniversary of this young lady's unfortunate demise. She knows people mean well but she does not want a forever memorial in her front yard. Is there any way that she can ask people to not do this? What would you do if this was on your property? She and I both are of the mind frame that the soul is not in her yard or in the street in front of her house. And that this stuff basically becomes trash shortly after it is left due to our inclement weather.
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