Driving around today I saw, as I'm sure you have many a time, bunches of flowers strung to a tree, lampost, or any other vertical object that was either close to or involved in someone's untimely demise. Today, like every other day I see this, it made me think.
A long while ago I penned a verse describing the annual pilgrimage to a little corner of Tuscany that hosts the San Marino Grand Prix. The place of worship is called, as was the piece, Tamburello, which was the corner of the racetrack where the great Ayrton Senna met his untimely end in 1994. Every year when the grand prix is held, his fans pay homage to him at that place, unfurling Brazilian flags, flowers, and honour their hero in silence. I must go there one day and join them.
But I don't like flowers by the roadside, so why would I go to Tamburello?
Senna died, I hope and believe, doing something he truely loved. From things I've read, he enjoyed nothing more than driving the wheels off his cars and he did it so very well. Something that he should forever be remembered for.
But those unfortunate to lose their lives heading for the shops, work or rushing somewhere they would never get to, or simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time, I doubt they would want to be remembered at the spot where it all ended. I sincerely know I would not. I'd rather those close to me remembered the places where we'd shared time, love, fun, rather than some awful place that meant nothing but pain for all of us. The last thing I would want is for them to remember me at the scene of the accident, as I know all that would go through their minds is the grief, pain, loss that they felt and imagined I'd been though. No, that's not how I would want it, so I give you these words.
No flowers for me, I beg you
Your memories are all we need
Recall all that was good between us
For that, I really plead
No flowers by the roadside
For that's not where I'll be
Choose your favourite time we had
And that's where you'll find me
Remember our time on the slopes
Or all those hours
We traded jokes
The time we cheered
Our favourite teams
The laughs, the tears
When we shared our dreams
Remember all my love for you
The day we stood
And said "I do"
This isn't where I want you standing
In sunshine or in rain
This isn't where I want your thoughts
To think of all our pain
I'll recall all our good times
In laughter, fun and splendour
So please, no flowers by the roadside
That's not how I want you to remember