Even though visiting a loved one’s gravesite is commonplace in our culture, you may still have questions regarding how such visits should be carried out. Are there things you should or shouldn’t do? How can you ensure that you show respect during your visit?
Most cemeteries have their own general rules governing visitors to the property. It is helpful to be familiar with these before you go to your loved one’s gravesite. Below you’ll find some additional guidelines which can assist you in making the most of your visit.
When visiting a gravesite, be careful NOT to:
- Allow children to run around unsupervised.
- Park anywhere but in designated areas.
- Litter (according to the International Association of Cemetery Preservationists, a good rule of thumb is to “leave only footprints”).
- Be loud or disruptive (it’s okay to speak in low tones with those in your party).
- Touch other headstones or monuments.
- Leave your vehicle idling or play loud music.
Do feel free to:
- Engage in quiet conversation with others in your party – reflect on your thoughts and feelings if desired, and share memories of your time with the deceased.
- Lay flowers on, or place a flag near, the monument.
- Kneel and/or pray.
- Clean the monument, removing any dirt, debris, or sticks which have accumulated.
- Sit on a bench for a bit, giving yourself space for healing to take place.
- Speak to your loved one.
As long as you use common sense and behave in a way which is respectful to the dead as well as to other mourners, there is really no “right” way to visit your loved one’s gravesite. Take the time you need to process the emotions which may arise during your visit.
We invite you to consult our staff here at Mountain View Funeral Home if you have any questions regarding our cemetery or any aspect of visiting your loved one’s gravesite. We’re here to help with your funeral planning needs and beyond.