Last week's wanton murders in Las Vegas were quickly memorialized in words, candles and flowers . Tangible markers may give comfort to the bereft and keep the loved one's memory alive with a loving gesture.
Numerous times I've passed this light pole on a residential street in Denver. It took several trips before I realized it wasn't just an odd piece of street art. On the next trip I stopped and noted the sign on the other side "In memory of Cole Sukle." When I googled him I read tragic newspaper stories about this cherished fourteen year old boy.
Last summer Cole was killed by an 81 year old woman with a history of unsafe driving. I felt outraged that her family hadn't taken her privileges away months before when she was involved in a hit and run accident. It would have saved Cole's life.
I could have continued to drive by this unusual flower-wrapped totem without ever stopping to pay my own homage.
Memorials draw us in to learn stories and sympathize with those who grieve. They help us appreciate people we never met, and thus more highly value those we know.
On a vacation to Whidbey Island I passed a bench facing Puget Sound.
Fresh flowers tied on the bench suggested wedding left-overs.
But the other side of the bench carried a name plate. It revealed that the tribute was for one H. Mark Bridgeman who had died the previous year. Thanks to the internet I understood that the bench looked out on the sea because he loved to go crabbing and clamming.
How many other stories wait to be discovered by the curious passerby?
Would you be pleased to be remembered in some concrete way that pointed to your uniqueness? How have you commemorated a life well-lived?