I have had this thought for a long time and I have hesitated to say it for fear of seeming insensitive. But, what the hay?
My heart goes out to all who have lost a loved one. I know the feeling, intimately and recently. It is horrible. And when we lose someone, we want to do something to make things feel better for ourselves and for everyone else associated with the loss. In my case, recently, that something was to write a post about my dad, which became his tribute at the funeral.
I think that people are losing an important concept.
Today, I was reminded again of this. I was driving to work past a VFW hall and there was this message on the sign: "In Memory of Lou Smith." Very often, too, I will see people with stickers on their rear windows: "In Memory of..."
My question is what act is in memory of the person who has passed on? Used to be you wrote an epic poem or erected a marble monument "in memory of" someone. Something was done in memory of the person. I mean, I suppose one could argue that the sticker was put on the car in memory of the deceased or that the bereft made the effort to put those little plastic letters on the sign in memory of poor toes-up Lou...but, Jeeze. Shouldn't we put in a little more effort for our dearly departed if we are doing something in memory of them?
Maybe we could save "In Memory of..." for some real effort at memorializing our lost pal or parent. It is not that the act of putting up the sticker is not heartfelt. It's just that I think we should save the profound phrase In memoriam... for something profound. Or, at least, profound-ish; for a ceremony...or...something that involves stone and chisels... I just don't think static cling and plastic deserve the term and it sort of diminishes the impact of bigger gestures.