A shrine for the living / A shrine for the dead
In light of a thoughtful and insightful comment left for the last post on the shrine for Amy Winehouse, I’m sharing this article I found about a memorial for a crash that happened on Long Island (New York City area) in October of this year.
The crash killed a mother and her young son and the memorial was established soon after the accident. Because it was for a mother and child, the majority of offerings left were balloons and stuffed animals (along with the traditional flowers and votive candles).
I do not know who began the shrine, or who contributed offerings to it, but as was pointed out in the article by a police officer who responded–everyone knows families with children and many people have children themselves. Therefore, an accident of this type, where a mother and her child are killed and two other children are left behind (along with the other family members), touches a particularly sensitive place in one’s heart.
Each and every spontaneous shrine is for an individual person–with a life and loved ones who will miss them dearly. That is one of the reasons I am interested in covering this topic–because I believe the shrines should not simply be seen as a sea of roadside crosses with no individuality and distinctiveness, but as unique and personal occurrences. However, I have noticed that when a parent and young child die together, the shrines that emerge are often some of the most ornate and community-created.
To speak to the comment left yesterday, it is important to point out that the shrines are for the living as much as they are for the dead. They are a space for the living to commune with those they have lost, to continue to share experiences and beloved objects with them, and often to come together with strangers. A shrine is a place for loved ones to meet and a place to invite passers-by to come and take part in the understanding that comes of shared experience, if not the mourning.
With that, here is the article:
Makeshift Memorial Lines Oceanview Boulevard As Police Continue To Investigate Fatal Manorville Crash
October 11, 2011 8:18 AM
A makeshift memorial marks the site of the fatal Manorville crash (credit: CBS 2)
MANORVILLE, NY (CBSNewYork) — Police are still investigating a fatal crash on Long Island that killed a woman and her 7-year-old son and sent her two other children to the hospital.
Police say 30-year-old Keri Trinca and her 7-year-old son Jason died in Manorville on Saturday.
Trinca was driving her Honda Accord on Oceanview Boulevard when police say the vehicle was broadsided by a van.
One Suffolk County police sergeant says he knows how badly the family is hurting from their loss.
“It’s never easy. Something like this is definitely hard,” said detective Sgt. James McGuinness. “We all have children families. This is a terrible thing to have to go through right now.”
A makeshift memorial of balloons and stuffed animals mark the site of the crash.
Trinca’s 4-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son are at Stony Brook University Medical Center. The driver and passenger of the van weren’t seriously injured.
Police are still trying to figure out which driver was at fault.