about life in Marrickville,
a municipality of inner-western Sydney, Australia
It's been languishing on my desktop for a few weeks, but I've finally posted my piece about roadside memorials over at Sarsaparilla. It's quite speculative - I'd love to know what other people think about these sites.
There's a permanent little memorial plaque beside Williamstown North rail station in memory of the deaths of a brother and sister in about 1990. They were killed at the boom crossing there. I'm not exactly sure of the year but do remember that I was in the kitchen when I heard about it, late in the afternoon. My daughter attended the same primary school at the time: Williamstown North, and still puts flowers beside the plaque now and then, as do other people.
Hi Meredith. This is a great piece. I left a comment on Sarsaparilla too. I noticed vast numbers of roadside memorials traveling through western Greece. I was getting a bit freaked out until I asked the bus driver and he explained that people quite often put them up as gestures of gratitude if they survive a road accident in Greece.
I've read that there are also many similar roadside shrines in India. It would make a fabulous international research project - so much to do, so little time!
RH, I suppose it was a foundational memory for your daughter. A kid in my grade one class drowned & I'd still like to put flowers somewhere for him.
My daughter found out that people she knew could suddenly die. And I didn't stand her in public somewhere and urge her to express grief over it. Because this wasn't grief for the thrill of it, or as an exercise in emotion, such as when Diana was mourned by millions who hardly knew her at all. I didn't require a "grieving process" nonsense, with instructions set out like little dance steps, at the end of which you get "closure". What idiocy.You can pick grief apart all you like, analyse it on the lines of some stupid Popov or Deridda, but parents get closure from a child's death when they're dead themselves, that's all.
RH - just when we were nearly having a normal conversation, you go on the attack for no apparent reason. This is why you're banned from so many blogs, you know. And by the way nobody mentioned Derrida.
No, it's nothing to do with you at all, just a general comment. Mind you, I don't like the word Foundational (whatever it means -"basic"?) but I do respect you as a very good blogger, and commenter as well. Truly.-Robert.
And I'm sorry if I've upset you, I wouldn't want to do that.Regards,Robert.
No worries Robert. By foundational I was referring to the way that some childhood experiences really affect us for life - they're like foundation stones for the personality. You said that your daughter was still occasionally putting flowers by that plaque in Williamstown, 17 years later, & I was making a connection to my own experience.
There is one quite near me for a young man killed on a motorbike. He was going through the intersection with the lights and a little old lady came through on the red and wiped him out. He was doing all the right things and then he was gone. His friends put flowers there on all the anniversaries.
I've just been there and back, love this internet. I think the comment about huge cemetaries is right. My Greatgrandmother, Grandmother, Father and son are buried in the family grave in a small cemetary in Cheltenham. It's called the Pioneer Cemetary and has been there since about 1840 or 50. I went to the school next door, Dad played golf on the course at the back and my son would spend hours wandering the bush park next to the golf course. He also graffited the railway station on the other side. We couldn't have real flowers, the rabbits would eat them so we used fabric flowers which always look nice on top of the hill. I like to think of them both up there watching the golfers together. That's the difference I think, the place is big but also small enough to be comfortable for people.
Your son, Jahteh. I wish I could write something to say how sad I am, and I don't even know you.
I'm not so sad now, I worked through a lot on the blog last year but it's his daughters I feel most for. I had him for 24 years but they hardly remember him at all. It will be 11 years this August.
Well at least those girls have a wonderful groovy granny.
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