That is a headline in the Vancouver Sun today, Saturday November 20th.

What a powerful and emotional subject this is. Made even more so today as the Saddle Tramps prepare to remember 4 of their own who were killed earlier this month in a horrific head on crash.

This is one topic I have stayed away from for a long time, but now I think is the time to discuss the purposes and the needs for marking a place of passing - the time frames for doing so and size restrictions if any.

I am not sure how many of you have been doing any reading on the painful and tender topic of road side memorials, but it is a topic that is heating up right across this country.
With admitted reluctance, a growing number of Canadian municipalities are clamping down on roadside memorials and imposing restrictions on them. It’s a prickly debate that has ignited Internet discussion boards and newspaper opinion pages.(Quote from Vancouver Sun article)

Now most places have no rules in place to handle the memorials and there is a lot of blather about driver distraction (Yah like billboards and flashing lights and signs do nothing to distract us)...the problem with many of these memorials from what I understand is that they are not maintained, which has lead to comments and discussion about the memorials being eyesores. Other discussions have been that they make people sad and are upsetting or that they are an unwanted intrusion.

Cruel and hurtful words have been said on this topic. Grieving families do not see what they "need" to do as an intrusion or an eyesore. They see it as creating a place of worship and love.

The older memorials that have not been visited in a while is one thing - but those that are maintained and visited often are not eyesores - in my humble opinion.

I have enormous empathy for those who grieve over deaths that have taken place on the highway - I can never go to Sexsmith without saying a prayer for Ronnie at his "spot" - it remains unmarked but I know where it is.

I have some concerns on this topic too though - I am uncertain as to how to approach to subject and pray this comes across as respectful because the written word can be tough to deal with at times like this.

I read about a mother who weekly visits not her daughters grave, but the last place her daughter's spirit was - the memorial that marks that spot. While as a mother, I can understand the emotions and sentiment of this mother, I also think this is one mom who could benefit from some outreach.

Winnipeg let's a road side memorial stand for a year and then gives families the opportunity to have their loved one's name engraved on a light standard band at the light post nearest to the accident. I really like the option. I think for those who feel the need to have a road side memorial that that is a wonderful compromise to the emotion charged situation.

I personally think a road side memorial can offer a number of beneficial things...

The memorial helps families and friends feel in control of the grieving process according to
the expert quoted in the Vancouver Sun Story - Diane Purvey, an associate professor of history and education, at Thompson Rivers University in B.C., co-authored a book last year on roadside shrines called Private Grief, Public Mourning. (I can believe that statement.)

It also, in my humble opinion, can serve as a reminder to slow down and pay attention and
as an educational tool to teach curious children about love and death and mourning and paying attention when driving - that is is a huge responsibility - perhaps if they were taught these simple truths they will become better drivers than their parents are...

The cruelty and selfishness of some people still, even at 50 years old, surprises me. Compassion and empathy are two words I think people in this country need to start learning and to excersise their meaning....

Death, loss - it is so personal, so powerful, so consuming - for a time. The hurt, the missing - they never really go away, they fade and become less demanding but they are always there - waiting for an opportunity to remind you of the love you miss.

Having recently lost my kid brother at 48 - I am deeply aware of the pain that these people feel who need to have a road side memorial. 
I grieve at odd moments caught off guard by something that triggers a memory...

I understand the need to mark the passing but I urge all to remember that life is for the living and the best tribute you can pay to someone you love who is taken far too soon is to live well - to honor them by being the BEST that you can be, for if you allow your grief to consume you the passing of your loved one becomes even more tragic because it has left behind the walking dead as well.
I would welcome your feed back on this topic - just as I do with every topic. I love hearing different ideas and is how we grow. You can join the discussion here in my blog (anonymous posts are not accepted - you must provide your name) On Face Book on the Belt Drive Betty & The Busted Knuckle Fan Page or in the forums on - you need to be a registered member...

There is a ton of stuff on the news again today:

Ontario is ramping up more motorcycle tourism
Edmonton Harley-Davidson has announced their Christmas Party and Customer Appreciation event

Azzkikr's in the lower mainland of BC is offering some great service deals to our members!

In Edmonton City council is playing the stutter step on the Noise Bylaw Issue - they are waiting for a court fight on the Motorcycle Noise bylaw - ANY TAKERS IN EDMONTON?
In the US noted tuner Eyvind Boyesen passed away last night. Tonight he is being inducted into the Hall of Fame.

There is so much more in the feeds today - but I also have a ton of work to do around the house that has been neglected for days so...

Have a great day and please take your time out there.

Belt Drive Betty

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