Thursday, September 4, 2014

In Memorial

My wife has made it abundantly clear that in the event she precedes me in death she does not wish to be memorialized as a car window decal. Despite arguing valiantly that this is far more economically-feasible than a traditional headstone, she appears to unwilling to budge. Apparently vinyl lettering on the back of a decade-old sedan is not her idea of a “dignified remembrance.” To be fair they aren’t my style either, but unlike my beautiful bride I haven’t threatened to haunt anyone over it.

Despite our reluctance, I see more and more vehicles on the road memorializing a deceased loved one. They vary from the basic “In Memory of” to rather elaborate displays that include full-color 8x10 photos flanked by angel wings. I supposed we all grieve differently, but barring specific instructions in that person’s will I probably would not be adorning my ride with anyone's death date.

I personally like the idea of a headstone because they are difficult to return. What if the initial shock wears off and my friends and family decide they don’t miss me as much as they thought they would? What if my children put “Loving Father” on my epitaph only to discover through years of therapy that I was bumbling and misguided? At least my granite inscription would not be susceptible to a bottle of Goo Gone.  

I often wonder what happens when they trade in these vehicles. Do these people purchase another decal for their new car or would that transition present an acceptable opportunity for the velvet ropes to come down? I would feel obligated to purchase another decal, especially if the original had featured the words “never forgotten.”

There is also the possibility that you could get into a situation where your new ride has less real estate on the back glass and the original memorial requires. That might seem trivial, but I imagine it could be agonizing to realize that you cannot get both the poem and photo collage on you Dodge Caliber.  

I realize that the cost of a tradition funeral, burial plot, and headstone has skyrocketed and many families simply cannot afford it. Based on the number of companies that offer memorial car decals, it appears to be a very lucrative business and perhaps I should dip my toe into that pond. Here are a few ideas for low-cost ways to remember those who have gone before:

  • Memorial Cell Phone Cases – By the time you get another upgrade credit, it is time to move on…
  • Memorial Golf Umbrellas – Here’s hoping your loved one can read this message from where they are..
  • Memorial Steering Wheel Covers – Memaw take the wheel….
  • Memorial Facebook Memes – Your relevance may be short, but your impact is everlasting...
  • Memorial GPS Voices – Even death can’t stop them from guiding you home….
  • Memorial Temporary Tattoos – Buy yourself some time while you investigate the rumors of a second family in Cleveland…

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