What I Wish I Knew Before Going to the Grave Memorial

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If you’re like most people, you don’t even know who will be in attendance when you get to your grave memorial. You might have an idea of some family members or friends. But oftentimes, there are people that show up you didn’t even know were coming. I vividly remember sitting on the bench and waiting for my name to be called when I heard a big old Southern drawl like Carrie Lee Tucker say hello from behind me. He stood a foot taller than me and had a warm smile that made me feel at home as soon as he opened his mouth.

1. Hello and Farewell

I didn’t know he was coming, but I sure was happy he had. You see, this nice stranger was my grandfather. I hadn’t seen him since I was a little boy. He gave me a big hug and told me how much he loved me before leaving. Sometimes when people pass, they come to your graveside service to say goodbye in person. They may not get the chance again to tell you what they really think of you or how much they cared about you. Here’s the thing: If someone who is dear to you shows up while you are visiting your loved ones memorial, don’t just say hello then leave without talking to them afterward. You never know—they might just want to talk for a little bit. It’s your call if you want to accept an invitation to talk, but I promise you will be glad you did.

2. You deserve it

Memorial visits are a wonderful thing because they remind us that we matter even though we don’t exist anymore. You deserve the chance to tell people why you were important to them and what life was like for them when you were alive. Most people don’t realize how many people remember them, so relish in their company and don’t overlook this opportunity!  

3. You can bring pictures or objects

If you have pictures or other mementos from the person, you can bring them to show the people who are visiting. They might even want to see these items! Showing them these things will help them feel like they were important to you and that you knew how much they cared about you.  

4. You have time

You have time at a graveside memorial service because it is your opportunity to say goodbye and tell your loved ones what they meant to you while they are still there. You can also give them a few words of wisdom from the person who passed, or you can talk about things that happened in your life that you hope they remember.

5. You don’t have to be sad

You don’t have to be sad at a graveside memorial. You can bring good feelings and positive thoughts with you so the people who are visiting know that you meant the world to those who mourned you.  

6. There will be more people later on

A graveside memorial service is a wonderful way to meet more people who loved your loved one and tell them how much they mattered while they were alive. They can see that you have positive energy, and they will be interested in getting to know you.

7. Visitors are usually invited

If the person who passed was a friend or family member, it’s likely that they will want visitors there, especially if the death was a recent one. But if the person who passed wasn’t someone you knew well, some people may choose not to invite any visitors. If this is the case, ask someone who is there to help you ask them if they have planned to include anyone who isn’t personally close to the person who passed.

8. You can’t ask for more than that

A graveside memorial is a wonderful opportunity to say goodbye, and you can’t ask for more than that. It’s a chance to bring closure and feel like you had everything said. You must know that the people who loved this person feel better after talking with you, and they will remember your visit fondly in the years to come.

9. If they don’t invite you, just go

If someone doesn’t want visitors at their grave memorial, there is no need to take offense. It could be that this person doesn’t want a lot of commotion, or it could be that that person feels like there is no one else to invite. In this situation, you can still silently send love and support from a distance. If you truly want to go, show up in the back and watch from the outskirts.  

10. You will miss them

When you are sitting at a graveside memorial, you will miss your loved one for all the years previous when you were alive together. It’s a sad thought, but if you feel like crying—let it out! The people who visit will understand.

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