Thursday, March 26, 2009

Appropriate Memorials

Okay, I should probably start out with a disclaimer. Today is a rant. I will probably offend someone with this. I did not mean to. But I have a pet peeve that has been gnawing at me for some time now and I thought I should just deal with it. If this offends you, ignore today's post and come back tomorrow. I don't promise to be in a better mood, but I will attempt to be less offensive.
And with that lead-in, I'll bet no one is drifting to another webpage yet, are you?

Have you ever seen those vehicles that have a decal on the back that says, "In loving memory of ..." and then they give a name and a birth and death date? Yeah, I hate those. If you have one, I'm sorry. I hate them for me. Before you write hateful stuff back, let me explain my reasoning.

It seems odd to me to put a memorial on a car. Flowers, and an altar or a pew in a church ... okay I get it. But usually when you put a plaque or decal that says "in loving memory" of someone, that means you gave that particular item as a memorial in honor of the person that died. How can a car be a memorial?

The only thing I can figure out is this--a vehicle that has that sticker on it was purchased with the life insurance money or inherited money upon the death of the deceased. In other words, what it says to me is, "I bought this nifty truck with the life insurance money I received when Billy Bob Monohan passed away. I put the decal here to dress it up some because it seemed a little tacky to use the money to buy a new truck."

Truthfully, I don't think it's tacky to use life insurance money in that way. I've already told my husband that I don't care what he does with the life insurance money after I'm gone. Just don't put my name on the vehicle. I believe that people that use that decal actually do want to memorialize a loved one. Maybe it helps with their pain or is a way of keeping them close. That's fine with me. But to an outsider looking at it, the decal says, "I lost my husband, but I got a new vehicle out of the deal." It just doesn't come across well.

Yesterday I saw a car with two of those decals in the back window. For two different people. Translation? "It took life insurance from two different deaths for me to be able to afford this car." It was really kind of sad because the car wasn't that great to begin with. Had it been a Hummer, I probably could have seen needing two decals.

Maybe I'm the only that looks at this in a weird way. If it's a gesture that brings someone comfort, I have no desire to take away from that. And it could be that in most people's minds it's completely acceptable. That's okay. Do what you want with this.

But if I ever see my name on a vehicle like that, I'm going to come back and haunt it.


  1. Never thought of it it quite like that! Never made a connection bwtween the decal and life insurance, that is. I have always thought it really odd that someone would put such a decal on theor vehicle. I have always chalked it up to an inability to deal with the death of that person. I'm with you all the way, though. Don't memorialize me on a vehicle!!!! :)

  2. I'm with you and Ingrid, Jill! I do not want to be memorialized, advertised, or plagiarized on a automobile!! Of course, the odds of any of the three happening are not even plausible ... my husband would spend any insurance money on a new set of Callaway golf clubs and a PS 3! Do they make memorial decals for video game systems?


Well don't just stand there! Say something! : )

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