HELP KEEP HRM ROADSIDE MEMORIALS SAFE FROM BEING REMOVED !
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When it comes to grief and especially the grief of losing a child, sometimes the logic involved can seem absurd and may not make sense to the outside world. Sometimes it doesn’t even make sense to yourself. Bereaved parents do things that they never thought they would do before the death of their child. Probably because the normal human process is that we don’t bury our children, they are suppose to bury us. Joining the most horrible club on earth, disrupts our entire being right down to The core of everything you thought you once knew and to pull yourself back up, we do thing such as make their favourite meals on their birthdays or other special occasions, listen to music they loved while we dance or cry or both or put up memorials in their honour. It’s what we have left that matters now. I would rather, no rather isn’t a good word. I would climb the highest mountain or jump the highest cliff if it meant celebrating my daughter life with her here, but the fact is she is no longer here and that was the very last place she lived, so essentially it is celebrating her life as well as commemorating her death.
Personally, I never thought about what it would be like to visit the very spot that my child took her last breathe. Nor did I, even in my wildest dreams, imagine that I would be hammering a cross into the ground to serve as a memorial to my late daughter. As a parent we would never want to ever imagine something so horrific, until it happens to you.
The whirlwind of emotion I have felt over the controversy of roadside memorials that should not actually even be a controversy at all is over whelming at times. I have spoke to many people, done my research and heard so many opinions. Mostly in my favour, but also some that were very harsh. “They are litter, they are a distraction, they are a waste of land, bulldoze them all” are some of the few. I stop to wonder if those same people have every lost someone tragically in a roadway accident? How could someone be so insensitive to a death and a small recognition of something tragic that happened there? Why does it even spark a rude comment or opinion if it has nothing to do with them ? Do they have nothing better to do then to complain about a marker of death? If they find them so distracting, should they even be driving on the road? Hopefully they never find themselves in one of these tragedies and if by chance they do, I wonder if their families would put up a memorial for them?
It’s a universal human instinct to mark the spot of a roadside death and In a lot of countries it is where they believe the soul of the person lies and they often visit these sites, light candles or in scents to pay respects to the soul of their loved one(s). Most of all, no matter where I have researched, most people believe that these are much like a mobile speed bump and serve as a strong reminder that at one point or another, that stretch of road was home to a horrible accident that claimed someone life. Buckle up, slow, down, watch the turn are all things that come to mind when I see these memorials.
When council does decide on a set of regulations here in HRM, (because they will set out rules we just aren’t sure what they will be yet) are they really going to enforce those rules? Let’s think about it for a second. Grief is unpredictable and if you think I’m asking you,I’m not, I’m telling you. Grief IS unpredictable and unruly at best. It makes you think that everything you felt you had control of, has vanished. Picking up the pieces is hard enough, So let’s take a grieving family and set a time limit on how long they can grieve or show their respect at the location of their loved ones death. We, as a society should respect love ones needs when it comes to memorializing the deceased in ways that matter them. Not forming rules and regulations that restrict time limits and sizes, etc. I also researched it and all of the provinces and states in North America that do have laws or regulations, don’t enforce them unless they are an obstruction. All of the officers Suppose to be enforcing these policies, say that they are very respectful of these memorials and they leave them alone for The family’s sake. Pretty much turn a blind eye. I’m hopeful that city council will do the same.
We already have a problem at hand because of the mix in provincial and municipal roadways that are both in HRM. It’s going to be very hard to enforce the new regulations on that alone. Then there is the question, What exactly will be aloud at the memorial? Can we have wreaths and flowers, alive or fake? the questions are endless. here in Halifax I have counted 7 memorial sites that do not include a cross or a bicycle. They are simply wreaths, flowers, a picture of their loved one or a poem that reminds them of there loved one. The new proposed regulations have no mention of sites of this type, just another flaw to add to the growing list when it comes to this topic I suppose. Then we have election signs. Where is legislation surrounding them? Why are they in the line of obstruction, sometimes four and five signs in a row, plastered EVERYWHERE. Are there not a sure distraction?
I do agree that maybe there should be a data base of some sort with the names and phone numbers of the family members in case there are problems, but then again, if families want them there and take care of them they are going to realize they are there. Honestly, upon further investigation I believe this is a huge waste of time and money and it should not even be an issue......
I’m hopeful that this will shed some light on this topic for people who don’t understand it or have never been in this type of situation. I will tell you from a mother’s view that it is a world unlike any other and not one you would EVER want to be in And until you lived it, you cannot say what you would do when it comes to memorializing your child/ loved one!
In any case, No matter what, the outcome of the proposed law on roadside memorials will most likely come into play in 2020. I will be seeing it through to the very end. although this is not what I want to be fighting for another year, I will continue to be the voice of all grieving and heartbroken families in HRM who want these crosses and memorials to remain and be left alone.
Please be a part of the fight and sign the petition so that grieving families can keep these roadside memorials up, whichever size they are, as long as they are maintained by the families.
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