Descanos, or roadside memorials, are placed to mark the place where someone died suddenly and unexpectedly. We know it is inevitable but in some ways all death feels unexpected. Something about certain abrupt passings compels loved ones to mark the spot where someone left us.
Often there is a cross and sometimes there are flowers, stuffed animals, and letters. Some have the persons name and some are unmarked.
The memorials are very personal, but there is a public aspect as well. It is a reminder that our loved ones are always with us, to cherish our people every day, and to drive a little slower and pay a little more attention driving down the road.