I passed a makeshift shrine on the sidewalk today, and yesterday,… and the day before- a sad little affair comprised of a bouquet of flowers planted in a wine bottle, and a handwritten sign on cardboard, leaning against a brick wall, which read: “Never a bad word was spoken about her, R.I.P. Cynthia”. I stopped to take note, and was immediately struck by the amazing brashness of that entire scene, and the terribly inept frame of mind of whomever placed it there, although I am certain that he or she feels that they have done the world a service by remembering Cynthia, whoever the hell she was.
For starters, there is no last name, there is no date of birth and/or death given, and there is no – no nothing. There is not a single identifying characteristic that is particular to Cynthia’s shrine which would lend me to believe that Cynthia ever existed, and if she did, it is quite possible that she is still living, and placed the shrine in that spot, as a tribute to her wonderful self.
People who are dead, first off, don’t need to be memorialized. It’s nice on some level that they are… but they don’t have to be, and I suppose that if it’s not done properly, it’s “o.k.” that they don’t get a memorial. I am assuming that, if in fact Cynthia is dead, she is either buried someplace, has been cremated, or donated her body to science for the pittance that it might have paid her in life, and did some Med student the dishonorable favor of becoming his cadaver for the semester. When Medical students go through the portion of their studies involving dissection and work with human cadavers, they are essentially “paired with” a pickled homo sapien for that period of time, usually a semester, with the remains taking a formaldehyde bath at the end of each workday for safe keeping. It is then safe to assume that whatever tissue was cut on and examined the day prior, will have dissolved and been further compromised by the toxic preservatives, and by daybreak, be just that much more of an unrecognizable mess. In Cynthia’s case- one who probably lives or lived among the street people and ON the streets, I am sure that her physical appearance was disturbing at best, and hideous in a worst case scenario.
At any rate, whatever the state of her body after she passed from this state of consciousness, it is evident that her final resting place is not in and or under the sidewalk, and probably not anywhere in the vicinity. So- take the damn thing down, and don’t put it back up- ever.
We don’t need memorials to dead people, unless they pay for it through pre-planned funeral arrangements. I, for one, would rather use the $12-$15K on a car or vacation than on an undeserved or ultimately unnecessary funeral and/or headstone.
Memorials are for selfish people who are still living and are usually erected by the most self-centered among us. These constructors are the same tattle tales who are the first to spread any and all bad news.
5 am, on any given day of the week: phone rings… “Hello? Oh, hi- how are you?” “Listen, I’ve got some news and I’m not sure how to say it, so I’ll just say it- your parents are both dead, call me if you need anything, I’ll be sending my thoughts and prayers”… click. Hangs up.
The preceding is an example of an asshole, who not only has some inside scoop on awful information, but then also chooses to exercise his or her right of free speech, and to be the first to report it to those closest to whomever has just died, or been maimed beyond recognition at work. The payoff for them is even bigger if the poor soul didn’t have any life insurance, as they then know that the survivors will quickly become mired in debt, file bankruptcy, and live out their days in a cardboard box. But- the intender of the bad news has offered prayer and “thoughts” … and so- they have done the survivors and society-at-large a favor.
That’s just bullshit, and I’m calling Cynthia’s memory out on it, even if no one else will. My wife got all choked up passing the shitty looking (and shitty smelling) memorial, but I’ll be no part of it. I’m not fooled, I’m no chump. I understand exactly what’s going on here, and I’m not going along with it.
If you want to memorialize anything, make mention of the work that someone did, or miracle they helped to perform. To state that “never a bad word was spoken about her” is trivial at best, and most likely a flat out lie. EVERYONE has bad words spoken about them- behind their backs, to their face, or otherwise. In fact, most people say bad things- at times OUTLOUD- about themselves. When this type of self-incrimination occurs, you can Guaran-F’ing-Tee that the criticism is deserved, and should be remembered as such.
Don’t stand there, scratching out a note on cardboard, saying that this woman, who obviously had messed up in a nearly incomprehensible manner of events in order to become homeless and without family, was somehow beloved by the planet… to imply that notion is to do everyone on the planet a dis-service. I stop and wonder about one who might have been her last contact with the “real world”… Did he or she have a bad word to say about Cynthia? I’ll bet they did, and probably told her so, way too many time to be counted. If not, why did they let her wander the streets, and ultimately die on some sidewalk, probably lying there stiff and cold for the better part of the morning, until some curious passerby kicked her and noticed that his shoe bounced off the rock hard corpse. I can and will bet money that at least he who stubbed his toe while booting the lifeless lump said a bad word about her, especially when she might have inadvertently rolled over, revealing the mess usually left by the involuntary evacuation of certain bodily contents at the time of death… all of that there- a miserable and stinking sight in the light of day while he is only trying to get to work? Hell, I’ll say a bad word about her lack of consideration for his commute if he won’t, or didn’t.
Cynthia, you SUCK!
It’s RUDE to die on a public sidewalk, and even MORE uncouth for your other rude and obnoxious friends to place a memorial in your wake, to most likely be tripped over again, possibly by the same poor soul who found Cynthia to begin with.
Just go someplace private and DIE, and leave the rest of the populace out of it!
I can think of two really good places to die, right off hand, and they both technically have to allow the homeless among them.
Churches and Hospitals.
Go DIE there.
Then, someone might have a shot at recognizing your miserable ass, and calling your next of kin. At that point, whomever chooses to “do the right thing” can pick up the tab for a proper funeral. You’ll have a generic memorial of granite like the rest of us, and people can walk to and from their lives without being reminded of what a tremendous drain on society you- and Cynthia- really were.
Until then, keep the sidewalks clear please… People like me are trying to walk here!