Mural for Stefania

Many clearly cared for her. A perminant marker like a plaque would be appropriate once the temporay tributes have been removed.

And BigAl as offensive as this may sound many in FH did not. The FH community is bigger than just those who are active on this forum. As someone put above “I don’t think any of us can or should make that decision for others, however good our intentions”

Others have loved and lost in this community, have been members of this community longer than some of you have been. Should they all have a plaque too?
There are members in this community who are affected by all the issues expressed on here and deal with it less publicly. There are also people in this community in one way or another who will feel that a mural/plaque is inappropriate because of that, no matter how tragic a life this may have been and how emotional you all are about her passing.

It is clear some of you had positive interactions with her, so a want for personal tributes and reflections are a natural form of grief. That said unfortunately life does indeed move on, as I am sure all of your daily lives did each and every day you passed her in the subway. So will it once your shock and disbelieve fades.
The subway is for all of FH it is a spot that lead her to be known to you all but it should not be immortalised for one tragic life lost.
Remember that for every one of you that are feeling emotional for her passing there will be others who may not feel the same way and that is a tragic truth.
I repeat that FH as a community is bigger than just those who are active on this forum and the subway is for them too.

Do you also take notice of the growing amount of homeless, beggars and people with obvious mental issues roaming the streets of FH?
The ones who sit outside the CoOp or Sainsbury’s? the one shouting swear words outside The Capitol, or at the front of FH station?
What about the young sobbing girl who has for years been walking the streets around FH asking for 5p or 20p, who is now often seen constantly sobbing and begging on the trains into FH asking for change or food?
These are just to name a few of the “tragic” regulars in our community.
Have you stopped to speak to them to find out their stories too? or do you see these folk as antisocial, aggressive etc.etc. and not part of the FH community?

My aim is not to belittle the grief some of you are clearly having, it is to make you rationalise your grief.

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Hi, There is a verified link to a go fund me page which was set up to fund her funeral. It is on the site.

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My final input on this - I am not quite sure what to say on the spray painted illegal grafittii to what is now a “temporary mural” and growing tributes in the underpass, aside that the underpass is more a depressing sight now than it was.
It’s harsh to say but Steph did little (as someone mentioned above) to “light up the subway”, because honestly and truthfully no one can pretend there was anything joyous in seeing a woman’s life wasting away for years in that spot.
I was asked by a friend visiting yesterday if someone was killed there? and walking though the underpass tonight that is what it feels like.

May she fully rest in peace and your grief and “what if’s” and “if only” help the other “tragic” causes you walk by in the community. However I Iook forward to when the underpass is given back to the rest of the FH community.

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Hi Ak8, what is currently in the underpass is illegal graffiti, and not the permission granted mural proposed. I suggest you retract your statement.

No need to retract AK8, this is fair comment. The tributes, grafitti - whatever you wish to call it - should certainly only be temporary. It would also be highly inappropriate to ‘celebrate’ the life of a troubled individual whose life was blighted by drug abuse with any type of mural or long-term memorial.

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Thank you and totally agree and I will not retract what I feel is a valid comment .
I have however edited it to add in “illegal graffiti”. Moderators please review as per PM.

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She existed, whether you acknowledged or liked or not and I don’t think it’s anyones business how she died or how she lived parts of her life.

Why can’t there be both? A memorial to her and help for her family and then actually getting out there and helping the countless others? How many people did you ignore on the street, the tube etc yesterday?

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@ak8’s comments are perfectly fine IMO.

I feel sorry for Stefania. She was probably a victim of modern slavery.

It’s right her death should be mourned like any other local tragedy, but I hope we stay focussed on avoiding her fate befalling others. How we avoid the cycle of drug addiction. How locals can help break the cycle as opposed to exacerbating it by giving money which ends up in the hands of organised criminals. I hope a large part of the crowdfunder goes to charities who are helping people get off the streets. I wish some of the money could go toward police efforts to smash organised crime and modern slavery.

I feel that murals dedicated to local people should be dedicated to people that made good life choices and who are people you’d want your children to emulate. People like @Michael, @Simon and @Pauline and many others - those who have dedicated their time and effort to bringing the community together and providing positive examples to our kids.

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I agree with ak8. The floral tributes are one thing but the graffiti is another. To me It does look like someone was killed there and my understanding is she died in hospital. Surely by doing something with the money raised to help others and help prevent another person living that apparently sad life would be a better legacy …not by putting up a memorial in a place where she often seemed unhappy.

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Totally agree. I am saddened by the pointless loss of a life.
this young woman was a victim of circumstance, wrong life choices call it what you will.
I wish the money spent on flowers would go to a charity to help addicts and the homeless.
once the funeral is paid for I think any extra funds should go towards such a charity.
A mural to me means much less than contribruting to something which may save other men and women finding themselves in Stefania’s situation.
She was not a saint.
She was a victim and a few wrong choices but for the grace of god she could be any of us or any of our family members.

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Sad that a youngish woman died through unnecessary circumstances, she sat there pleasantly not annoying anyone, but perhaps inducing feelings of guilt, whilst there are are many who walk up and down on the overground everyday who are not so pleasant and we chose to ignore and are often made to feel guilty by other passangers, there are many charities that we can give to, I refuse to be made feel guilty by a sad face

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Hi Guys

In my opinion local murals should be for inspiration for the whole community and what motivates and inspires the community and for what the community want I don’t think myself @Simon and @Michael can help with this as we only have our own opinions

Sadly this has split the community, but for what it’s worth I would like Stephanie to have a good send off and the remaining either going to a homeless charity or to Forest Hill Society which can be put into a bank account to help another in the future.

I tried to help her so many times but failed. I think we need to get advice on how to help people similar in the future otherwise we will keep failing homeless people in our community.

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I’m absolutely amazed people would even think a mural would be appropriate. Misplaced grief, perhaps.

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Thanks Chris for the mention x

I and many others tried on many occasions to support Stephania to change her life and let her know about local Narcotics Anonymous meetings where she could get the welcome and help from recovering addicts to enable her to deal with her addiction. She didn’t want to know. Many times I said to her Stephania there is another way you do not have to die there is an NA meeting in walking distance from where you are sitting - she simply didn’t want recovery. It is too easy to blame the State actually it was her choice to remain in active addiction because many of us had really tried to offer solutions. She didn’t want to know. It is tragic yet unsurprising Stephania was another casualty of the untreated disease of addiction but there are many addicts who do recover once they get honest, admit they have a problem over which they are powerless and become open minded and willing to engage the recovery process which is empowering and leads to freedom from active addiction. Stephania was no different to any other addict she just didn’t want to take the action to recover because she probably didn’t think she was worth it. All of us and i include myself who enabled her by trying to be so helpful probably contributed to her remaining a victim of addiction. Therefore perhaps just a kindly word or the gift of one’s time for every addict is the best we can do.
Thinking of the many who have died of this terrible disease over many many years you all remain always in my heart…

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I think perhaps she had other pressures than just addiction (her “protectors”) so it was probably not so easy to just choose another route.
A mural is definitely not appropriate. Giving to an appropriate charity will do so much more to help people like her than a mural.

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I’m glad my idea for a mural for Stephania is back on, and up for a vote! In time, it will feel like a more appropriate and a great replacement for the impromptu shrine that I see has become displaced. If the subway is to be decorated surely it should contain some recognition of her. I understand the reasons why not, but the fact is, she was there everyday, and was a positive influence on many people who walked by.

Is this seriously under consideration? However friendly and kind Stefania was, a mural is an utterly inappropriate ‘tribute’. Commemorating someone who used to spend their day sitting on newspapers on an underpass? What kind of message is that sending out to the younger generation? People should surely be allowed to remember her in their own private thoughts, not through a public declaration of what feels very much like misplaced affection.

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I agree-I think we should have a mural of hope and empowerment not one commemorating a sadly wasted life.
Sorry but this is just how I feel and hope I haven’t upset anyone by voicing this.
Any young life lost is a tragedy.
Personally I would MUCH rather we had a forest hill against knife crime mural as so many families are touched and destroyed by this terrible blight and so many very young lives lost as a result

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