Seven Ideas for Participating in Visit a Cemetery Day

Posted by: Erin Ward in Grief and Guidance, Memorialization | July 8
With October 25th being Visit a Cemetery Day, we want to share some ways you can participate. Rather than being a spooky holiday, it’s meant for honoring and remembering those who are no longer physically with us. By visiting their gravesite, you can pay your respects.

Below are a few creative ways you can honor your loved one this Visit a Cemetery Day.

1. Clean Their Gravesite and Add New Decorations

Take some time to clean up their gravesite, such as brushing away dirt and debris and removing weeds. You also can add new decorations for a little personalization. For example, a few ideas are photos, bird feeders, wreaths, and fresh flowers.

Feel free to get creative with it, just make sure you’re not breaking the cemetery’s rules. Another thing to keep in mind is if you’d be upset if the decoration was ruined by the weather. If so, it’s best to use a decoration that you don’t mind is exposed to the elements.

2. Share Photos on Your Social Media Pages

Once you’re done cleaning up their gravesite, take a picture of your loved one’s newly decorated gravesite to share with your loved ones. Post it on your social media pages to honor their memory and share their story with others.

For example, in the post caption, you can share one of your favorite memories of your loved one. If you’d rather keep the caption simple, that’s perfectly fine, too.

3. Have a Picnic with Your Family and Friends

After taking some photos, have a picnic by their gravesite. You can invite your family, friends, and anyone else who was special to your loved one. Just be respectful of any surrounding gravesites. For the food, it can be a potluck with your loved one’s recipes and favorite foods.

You also can share stories about your loved one. Give each person a turn to share a cherished memory. Who knows, you may learn something about your loved one that you didn’t know before. (You also can share what you learned in your social media post!)

4. Take a Cemetery Stroll

When you’re done with your delicious picnic, take a walk around the cemetery. You can look at the other gravesites and possibly get some new ideas for decorating your loved one’s gravesite in the future.

As you return to your loved one’s gravesite, you can take some time to yourself to think about your loved one. Or, if you’d prefer to share your thoughts out loud, don’t be afraid to talk out loud to your loved one. Everyone grieves in different ways, so do what feels right for you.

5. Volunteer to Help Clean Other Gravesites

While on your walk, offer to help other families clean up and decorate their loved one’s gravesite. If they don’t have many people to help them, it can be a lot for one person to do alone. By offering to help, you can show some kindness while paying tribute to their loved one.

Another idea is to reach out to your local cemetery and see if you can volunteer. For the deceased who don’t have family in the area, their gravesites may not regularly get new decorations. By volunteering, you can make sure all the gravesites are tended to. Something as simple as adding fresh flowers can mean the world to their loved ones. By taking photos, the cemetery staff can share them with the appropriate families.

6. Make an Entire Day of It

By following the ideas above, you can make an entire day of Visit a Cemetery Day. If you’re not from the area, you can do a road trip with the family. You can even make other stops along the way at places your loved one liked to visit.

7. If You Can’t Be Physically Present for Visit a Cemetery Day, Go Virtual

If it isn’t possible to physically visit your loved one’s gravesite, visit virtually instead! Have a loved one video chat you while they’re there so you can participate virtually. 

What other ways can you participate in Visit a Cemetery Day? Share your ideas with us in the comments!

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