4 Things You Should Never Leave at a Cemetery
When we visit a loved ones grave, we want to leave something for them. Here are 4 things you should never leave at a cemetery.
The CDC reported that over 2 million people died in 2017.
While grief is very personal and can make you feel lonely, it is important to remember that you’re not alone.
And one way you can temper your grief is to visit your loved one’s grave at the cemetery. Although most religions teach that this isn’t where your loved one’s soul resides, it is still nice to make a connection to the one you’ve lost. Some people visit graves often, some find that this is too difficult for them. It is up to you how often, or if at all, you visit your loved one’s grave.
While most of us are aware of what we should bring to a grave, such as flowers or stones, we may not be aware of what not to bring to a grave.
In this article, we’ll discuss the items that aren’t suitable to leave for your loved ones.
Conduct: What Not To Do
Firstly, let’s go over a little bit of conduct when it comes to visiting a cemetery. Your children should know that this isn’t a playground. While they may not understand the gravity of the situation, or what it means to visit a grave, they can still behave themselves. If they don’t, you risk leaving behind everything from toys to gum wrappers, which can be left on graves accidentally.
Additionally, make sure not to litter around the area, lest you leave something behind.
If you do take pets, and they are allowed, make sure not to allow the animal to leave its waste on a grave.
Historically, people used to install iron fences around graves to protect them. You may have seen these in very old graveyards and want to protect your loved one’s grave.
While it is natural to want to ensure that your loved one’s grave isn’t walked on or over, it is often a hazard. It can cause people coming to the cemetery for funerals or visits to trip and injure themselves. It may also make it difficult for groundskeepers to keep the area landscaped.
2. Anything Made of Glass
While it may be a nice idea to put a bouquet in a vase and place it on your loved one’s grave, this can cause serious problems to those who come to the cemetery after you. The vase will more than likely topple over at some point, and will probably break. As you can imagine, this can cause people to trip and may even be the source of an unnecessary cut or injury.
If you wish to leave flowers, that’s fine, but ensure that they’re either in a vase attached to the grave itself, or tied together with twine.
You should also not bring anything made of glass, such as lanterns other glass objects. Like vases, these can topple over and injure mourners.
It is natural to want your loved one’s grave to stand out, especially if the death is recent or on special occasions. You’re encouraged to leave flowers, stones and other non-breakable items as often as you like, as well as visit. But don’t light up the grave with little lights that you plant in the ground.
While it might look cool at night, it is not fun for the groundskeepers who need to keep the area looking neat. It’s also a hazard for other mourners, who may not see the lights and trip over them.
4. Food Wrappers and Drink Containers
Before you leave food at a cemetery, discuss this with the cemetery itself. Leaving food on a grave that a loved one enjoyed in life is a tradition in many different cultures and is part of the grieving process.
Some people may also come to a loved one’s grave and eat a meal there, making sure to leave items the person liked to eat and drink on it.
While this is definitely a long-held practice, you should discuss with the cemetery what their policies are. You may be allowed to leave the food on the grave for a short while, or you may wish to leave it for the duration of the visit.
Be mindful, however, that this can attract ants to your loved one’s graves and to the graves nearby. It can also attract other wild animals and predators.
If you do leave food on the grave, make sure that the food is not wrapped up in plastic or is in the original wrapping. This can cause waste and litter.
The same goes for drinks, so it is best to avoid leaving them at a gravesite. Drinks can spill if left open, and if in a bottle or can, can cause litter and possible injuries.
Visiting a Cemetery
Visiting a cemetery is a great part of the healing process and something that is highly encouraged. As stated above, how often you visit the grave is up to you. For many people, it is a cause for comfort. Often, families will visit the grave of a loved one when they are able to get together, especially if they all live far away from one another.
While we encourage visiting us, we do encourage you to be mindful of other mourners who are also visiting their loved ones and to be respectful of our rules and regulations.
If you would like to contact us regarding arranging a funeral or your future plot, don’t hesitate to reach out.