I've written before on a custom in our part of British Columbia that moves me each time I see it, where friends and families sponsor small memorials to loved ones within our many parks, in the form of public benches.
In many quiet corners of our scenic parks, you may sit and read of how one special life touched another, and how that memory is being kept alive through gentle words of heartfelt sentiment.
An effective way to accept a painful personal loss is through an expression of gratitude for the time that such special people were in our lives. Memories can prove to be so valuable in getting us through our grief; acknowledging the gain helps mitigate the loss, recognizing how we've been loved can give the necessary strength to live on without the giver of that love. Sharing these signs of appreciation with the rest of us reminds us all how precious our blessings are, and to rejoice in them, while we can.
This little video shows a selection of these humble memorials from in and around Vancouver. I had trouble sleeping again the other night, troubled once more by thoughts about the tragedy at Virginia Tech. As the benches keep teaching me, it's better to channel your pain to productive ends, creating something that can be of service, hopefully, to others.
[I hope my fellow hikers will forgive my creative geography in placing the imagery in the video; I plead poetic license for the sake of dramatic effect..!]