Shrines of the heart and mind

March 26th, 2012 by Jan

I’m not sure exactly how long ago it was, but I’m guessing it was at least three years ago, that a young man on Bowen Island was killed while riding his skateboard behind a car. The details of this tragedy have never been clear to me, but I do know two things. 1. Lance had worked for us the week prior to his death and was a vibrant young man with dreams. 2. Alcohol was involved.

If you drive toward the tacky shop, or The Knick Knack Nook as some call it, on the right side of the road, stands a shrine to Lance.

It was put up in the location of his death just days after he died and has been there ever since. The shrine is not small. Work boots, a skateboard, a water can, his climbing belt, and a lot of other things that were either important to Lance, or had some significance to those who loved him.

In some ways it’s beautiful, in another, it looks like road side clutter. No one has suggested it be moved or dismantled. I do know I remember Lance every time I pass it.

Shrines are everywhere if we look, some are simple, some more complicated. All serve so that we remember.

Then there are the serendipitous shrines. The kind that come out of the blue and hit our heart. Like when I see a red cardinal, I think of Jeanette Todd, a rhinoceros brings to mind Linda Brackett.

A song by Eva Cassidy makes me remember Janice Wood, red cowboy boots remind me of Jan Daly. Acupuncture needles – Roger, brown labs – Doug.

I get a flash of my mom, when I look in the mirror and see her face looking back at me. A race track or fine piece of carpentry reminds me of Jack, and every time I cut a banana with a spoon I remember my grandma.

Today, is Tomi’s funeral. My thoughts are with Ken, Ron, Dallas and Randy. And as time passes I’m pretty sure every time I see someone with a pretty scarf around their neck — I’ll think of Tomi and remember.

3 thoughts on “Shrines of the heart and mind

  1. heather

    What a great idea – I never thought of it that way but was just talking with Jim yesterday about the things that remind me of those we have lost – a song for his brother, a shower scrubby for our friend etc.

    For my dad we have a more formal “shrine” that includes a picture of him playing cello and his favorite slide rule along with the box that held his ashes. I never thought of these other little things as being the same, but you are right – they are – touchstones that continue to connect us to a life we held dear.

  2. Laura B

    The holiest of all holidays are those
    Kept by ourselves in silence and apart;
    The secret anniversaries of the heart.


  3. Laur

    and isn’t it grand that you’ll always find splashes of color and flair to bring your love of her back to your mind..nice.


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