Roadside memorials: ugly eyesores or acceptable tributes? It’s a question I’ve often asked myself when driving past faded flowers, bleached notes and weathered mementos (usually gathered around implacable old gumtrees in the Adelaide Hills).
Call me callous, but in the past I’ve always viewed them as just plain maudlin – especially as the months drag by and they become increasingly bedraggled and forlorn. Then on Thursday I read about Eric O’Neil, a heartbroken dad grieving the loss of his 31-year-old son Allen, who died three years ago in a workplace accident.
Since early 2010, Eric has maintained a small beachside memorial to his son near the Christies Beach Surf Lifesaving Club. He leaves a beer at Christmas and other special occasions, symbolically sharing a drink with a son he loves and misses so much.
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