To lose a loved one is heartrending. Grief affects everyone differently, but no matter how you grieve, you and those who were close to the deceased will want to honor their life. Here are some burial traditions that may help you find closure and pay your respects to your loved one.
A Celebration Of Life Ceremony
You may wish to focus on your loved one’s life and sharing memories rather than on your grief. A celebration of life ceremony may be an option for you to honor them with, either through sharing stories and pictures and things they loved or through a party to celebrate their life. What a celebration of life ceremony differs from person to person because everyone is different. Some are joyful, some are more somber; you or your loved one will designate which one will best help you find closure.
A celebration of life ceremony can be had by itself, or in conjunction with a funeral or a memorial. Generally, a celebration of life is more focused on positivity and life than a funeral is.
Placing Special Items At Their Grave
Depending on your culture and/or religion, you may choose to lay an item of significance at your loved one’s grave.
For many people, laying or planting flowers at a grave is a beautiful tradition. People say that this tradition has been around for thousands of years, with experts dating it back to the Stone Age. In Ancient Rome, flowers created a nice environment for spirits at their graves, to appease them. In Ancient Greece, if a flower bloomed at a grave, it meant the person has a happy afterlife. Flowers often have sentimental meanings, so leaving flowers on your loved one’s grave can provide a source of comfort and offer up a feeling to them.
Using rocks to mark gravesites is a common way to honor the dead. The use of rocks as a means to find a gravesite later on is an origin for headstones and gravestones, so people can remember where they laid their loved one to rest.
Common in Jewish tradition, people placing stones on the graves of their loved ones is deeply significant. According to Jewish oral tradition, stones are left to protect the souls of the dead since it’s suggested the soul stays in the body long after death. Stones and pebbles are also left to keep evil spirits away from gravesites, and keep them from taking the souls of your loved ones. They are a means to pay homage to deceased loved and also symbolize that they are forever in the hearts of the living.
Food And Drink
Across many cultures, it’s common to offer food and drink to the deceased. Either as a way to appease hungry spirits, to share with them their favorite things from life, to provide sustenance on the journey to the afterlife, there are many reasons to leave food and drink at your loved one’s resting site.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of what people place at graves to honor their loved ones. There are many more traditions that are not covered here, all of which are special and significant.
Honoring How They Are Laid To Rest
Some people designate how they wish to be laid to rest; if that is the case, it is best to honor them. Depending on cultures and traditions, how people wish to be laid to rest or to have their loved ones laid to rest varies.
Many religions and cultures accept cremation for the deceased. In some, cremation is seen as a way to free the soul from the body. If cremation is what is decided on, there are multiple ways to honor your loved one and their remains. Some people wish their ashes to be scattered at sea, others that they be planted, others that their ashes be placed with another loved one’s gravesite.
For many, burials are the most common way to lay their loved ones to rest. In some religions and cultures, it’s important to keep a deceased person’s body intact, and burial is seen as a sign of respect. You can see if your loved one had any wishes on where they wished to be buried, and if not, find a beautiful funeral home or a family plot to have them buried.
Further Burial Traditions
There are far too many burial traditions and customs to cover here. These are but a few of the many burial traditions you can use in order to honor your loved one. Hopefully, they will help provide ideas for you on how to both honor your loved one and find solace after their death.
Here at Russon Brothers Mortuary and Crematorium, we understand how hard it is to lose someone you love. If you need help with honoring your loved one, we are here to help. Contact us at Russon Brothers Mortuary and Crematorium today for any questions about planning a funeral and how we can help you honor your loved one with burial traditions.