Gransnet forums


Roadside memorial bouquets

(190 Posts)
NfkDumpling Thu 11-Apr-13 19:56:45

Nasty bend on the coast road and must have been another fatality as a lovely old oak tree is festooned with coloured cellophane. There's probably flowers hidden somewhere in there, but all that's visible is the wrapping.

If people go to the trouble of buying flowers to mourn the loss of a loved one - why can't they take the b****y wrapping off? Is it so no one knows they've been cheapskates and only got a petrol station bunch? And in a few weeks time when the contents have long disintegrated, the b****y cellophane is still hanging there.

It makes me really, really annoyed. Is it me?

annodomini Fri 12-Apr-13 22:48:57

positive, I didn't know. What a dreadful loss. I will think of you the next time I am driven to feel censorious about these roadside memorials.

glassortwo Fri 12-Apr-13 22:56:13

positive flowers

POGS Fri 12-Apr-13 23:52:11


Please accept my apology if I have offended you. . flowers

absent Sat 13-Apr-13 08:02:33

NfkDumpling Cellophane is made from plant material and is not plastic. It is also biodegradable so not quite so awful as you think. Flowers without any sort of wrapping are best though.

Bags Sat 13-Apr-13 08:14:06

There is a site not too far from us where a young man died in a car crash several years ago. Flowers and other things are fastened to the tree that he crashed into. They are refreshed periodically. The site has been refreshed recently with daffodils. Sometimes football scarves are tied to the tree as well. There is always something. It must be five or six years now. I don't think he was out of his teens. Imagine if it were your son.

Bags Sat 13-Apr-13 08:15:07

positivepam flowers

FlicketyB Sat 13-Apr-13 16:51:44

I would rather send flowers to the bereaved relatives. They are the ones that need them and will benefit from them.

NfkDumpling Sat 13-Apr-13 21:08:15

Absent I had noticed from observing memorials tied to a tree on a nearby main road that the cellophane first looses it's colour, then goes brittle and dirty grey and final disintegrates and blows away to reveal at last the remains of the original tribute - a clump of desiccated stalks.

I like the idea which seems on the rise of a permanent marker, a small cross or flower vase or a shrub with a marker.

Bags Sat 13-Apr-13 21:18:46

Biodegradable, UV and weather sensitive tributes seem like a good idea to me. Ultimately they cause no problems.

positivepam Sat 13-Apr-13 22:39:38

Can I just say thank you to you all and nobody has offended me in anyway. I believe everyone is entitled to their own views and I suppose I was just trying to put another side to it. I have to agree about the cellophane though, I don't understand why people do not remove it, flowers look so much nicer without. I do however think that flowers should just possibly be placed at the time of the incident, but not then every year afterwards, but again that is just my view. I agree also sending flowers to the bereaved is another way, but I suppose if you don't know the people but just want to say how sorry you are this may be the only way. And in a way, it seems to have become another of those traditions. I send my best wishes to all Gransnetters that have been through tradgedy and I know there are many. flowers

POGS Sat 13-Apr-13 22:42:39


Very nice post. Thank you. flowers

seasider Sun 14-Apr-13 01:56:54

Positive . I agree with you that if laying flowers brings some comfort to the bereaved why should we knock it. There is a spot near us where a 6 year old boy died of an asthma attack at the side of the road. The spot is marked by a little windmill that is replaced every so often. It must be a few years ago now but very time I drive past I remember the poor little boy and how serious asthma can be. GS is a sufferer but thankfully it is only mild .

Freda13 Fri 03-May-13 17:19:20

I agree with Movedalot. I would not like my relatives or friends to place flowers or remember me at the place where I met a traumatic end. I can't understand it really, people returning to the place you were for a few fleeting minutes before you died. It's much nicer to remember deceased friends and family in happier times. I don't even want my family to have to visit a cemetary to remember me. Just have some flowers in the house and think of me now and then.

Stansgran Fri 03-May-13 17:48:07

I call them Cellotaphs and I do feel they started after Diana died . Near us there is one which is where a pet dog died which seems a bit much.i feel flowers should be for the survivors as in Positive Pam . Often wondered if a flying squad of flower arrangers could be mustered when there were large numbers of flowers so that they could be made into flower carpets like they have at well dressings and flower festivals.

FlicketyB Wed 08-May-13 02:14:53

20 years ago my sister was knocked off her bike and died as she cycled to work in central London. The flower collection business hadn't really got started then. Two days after her death my surviving sister and I went to her office to sort through her desk etc and speak to her colleagues.

As we drove away we saw one of those police yellow signs 'Accident here (date) (time)'. It took several seconds to hit us that this referred to the death of our sister. To have seen also bouquets of flowers, to which we would never have contributed even if the accident had happened after they became fashionable, would have been even more distressing. It was difficult enough driving past the site of the accident without having to see tangible evidence of it in deteriorating bunches of flowers.

Bags Wed 08-May-13 08:58:35

Some people like putting bouquets and soft toys in a place of death, some people don't. Some people want to mark a place where a loved one died, some people don't. What causes the distress is the death of a loved one. Getting annoyed about other people expressing their feelings about the incident isn't going to help anyone. This kind of freedom of expression hurts no-one; it's the death and the loss that hurts.

Stansgran Wed 08-May-13 09:14:53

When the flowers die and the cellophane becomes litter what sort of memorial is that? There is a bridge in Durham where a youth fell into the river. It's decorated with dirty wrappings and a very dirty football scarf. Perhaps a reminder to other young men not to drink and fool around oN a bridge but I doubt it. It's just litter now.

Bags Wed 08-May-13 09:26:49

Those who object could clear up the litter, I suppose, instead of just complaining.

As I said in an earlier post, there is a tree near here which is redecorated with bunches of flowers at least annually. Yes, they wilt and start to look untidy, but what's a bit of untidiness compared with the anguish the young man's friends and family feel?

People who object can tidy up if they want.

And, in any case, they can be tolerant of other people's ways of expressing their feelings about something tragic instead of whingeing.

Bags Wed 08-May-13 09:29:27

No, I never have left a bunch of flowers or a soft toy at an accident spot, and I don't suppose I ever will, but I can live with other people doing it if they want to. Without moaning.

If the 'litter' bothered me, I'd pick it up and dispose of it, just as some people scrape up dead hedgehogs from roads and give them a 'decent' burial.

Stansgran Wed 08-May-13 09:36:51

So do I stop my car on very busy road and nip out and toss the rubbish into the river? I dislike the ostentatious grieving that people seem to have indulged in since Diana's death. Whinging is not what NFKD was doing. It's a legitimate complaint about people indulging themselves and not going back to clear up.

baubles Wed 08-May-13 09:42:12

In a town near me the slip way onto the motorway goes under an underpass where a young man lost his life several (possibly ten) years ago. To this day there are football scarves tied around the barrier into which he crashed, they have been replaced over the years.

Because I remember reading about it at the time, the memorial reminds me every single time I pass, that this young lad died at that spot. I didn't know him but I remember him.

Bags Wed 08-May-13 10:03:45

If that's what you usually do with litter.... shock

I thought it was community spirited to pick up litter and dispose of it carefully. Please don't tell me I'm teaching Cub Scouts the wrong thing.

nanaej Wed 08-May-13 10:40:20

People respond to death of loved ones and personal grief in different ways and one way is not better than another.

Bottling it up and 'stiff upper li'p approach to death is a traditional 'British' way but probably not as emotionally healthy as talking and crying.

I personally do not subscribe to the public mourning for people I don't know personally i.e. Diana /Thatcher etc. .I think that is ostentatious.

However to leave a floral tribute at the place of death for someone I was close to... maybe I would if I was unfortunate enough to be in that situation.

I'd rather see a tired bunch of flowers by the roadside than other rubbish!

Tegan Wed 08-May-13 11:24:04

Given that these memorials are often found on dangerous stretches of road anyway I like to think that they, perhaps, make someone else [perhaps a young inexoerienced driver] think more carefully about their driving and/or the road conditions, and may prevent another life being lost. I can't imagine the pain of losing someone in such circumstances and hope that leaving flowers helps in a small way. The only feeling I get when I see them is a wave of sadness.

Bags Wed 08-May-13 11:52:03

We can't all build Taj Mahals or pyramids and leave them littering the world wink and killing hundreds of slaves in the making hmm

BTW, just for the record, I don't particularly like roadside memorials either, but this isn't about what I like or how I would deal with the death of a loved one; it's about tolerating other people's essentially harmless choices.