to laminate or not?

The plastic sheets that refuse to bend,

Preserving a relic and keeping it safe,

Or spoiling it forever? Who’s to know?

When you can’t touch the letter

Written with love. Or smell the cologne

That was splashed on the page,

Feel the paper under you fingers

Or cover in plastic and save it for years?

I have been listening to an audiobook that was written by a lady who is a disaster management consultant. This basically means that if there is a war, an earthquake, a terrorist attack, a plane crash or any other kind of mass disaster, she turns up and writes reports to make sure that any subsequent disasters are dealt with efficiently.

But the other side of her job is to look after bodies, personal effects and the relatives and loved ones of the deceased. And it was interesting what she said about the belongings because it seems like such a minor thing in the grand scheme of things – at least to an outsider who has never been touched by disaster.

She spoke about a letter that was written by a family member and was found on the body of a victim. The team had decided to laminate the letter and pass it back to the family member so that they could keep it forever. However, she was worried that the family member would be upset by the fact that they had covered it in plastic. Surely the mother would want to feel the paper and smell the son’s cologne on it?

It turned out that the woman was so grateful that she had something to hold onto forever, but it opened up the question: should you make something perfect to preserve it, or should you just keep it as it is? Should a victim’s clothes be mended or washed before it is sent back to the family?

There is no right or wrong answer to this, but I found it interesting to hear about these debates that go in the background. When we only see the news reports, there are thousands of people working behind the scenes, making decisions that could change lives. It’s proof that even the smallest things can have the biggest of impacts.

Much Love

Rachel xx

One thought on “to laminate or not?

  1. Margot Kinberg

    That is an absolutely fascinating question, Rachel! I think of schoolwork my daughter did (and now my granddaughter), and it is tempting to laminate it. But at the same time, their touch is on their work. It’s hard to feel that through plastic…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.