It has been part of many cultures to honor and value someone even after their death. People find solace in the belief that their loved ones are only gone physically but alive spirit. This is why some families make it a habit to visit gravesites once in a while.
However, you can make cemetery visits even more special by decorating the tomb site of your lost beloved. Here are some of the ornaments that you can use as decoration.
Gravesite Decorations You Can Use for a Memorable Cemetery Visit
Also called death lanterns, a grave lantern is basically like a container used to hold death candles. It can be in the form of a box or glass. While grave lanterns can be made from different materials, steel and glass are some of the top choices for they can better sustain big candles.
In the Greek tradition, grave candles placed inside an orthodox box are being lit for 40 days. It is believed that the light will serve as a guide for the journey of the dead in the next world.
TIP: When choosing candles, make sure that the size will fit inside the lantern. Opt for wax made from vegetable oil to minimize damage on the metal and glass.
The idea of placing pebbles on the gravesite stems from ancient Jewish faith practices, back to the time when the deceased was still buried in the desert. It has spread through Judaism and now people of all faiths use small stones to decorate cemeteries.
You can bring a few pieces of pebbles to the graveyards. If you want to be more creative, you can also engrave letters or words in the stones.
If you wander around cemeteries in a predominantly Catholic country, you will find crosses or symbols of the cross in almost every tomb. It carries a symbolic meaning of Christ’s crucifixion. Just like Him, people also go through death and suffering but these come with the hope for afterlife salvation. The cross is often used to remember someone who belongs in the Christian community. There are different types of cemetery crucifix – agony cross, anchor cross, and botonee cross. These can be made of either steel or cement.
If you lack the resources to construct or buy large crosses, you can also leave small crucifix just like the ones that are placed in altars. Some even paint figures of the cross in the graveyard itself.
When decorating headstones, one of the things you shouldn’t forget is the flowers. It has been part of most cultures around the world to bring fresh blooms in honor of the dead. In fact, sympathy flowers never go missing during funerals. Here are some of the floral arrangements you might want to include in your cemetery ornaments.
Flowers arranged in bouquets often fill the cemeteries, especially during All Soul’s Day season. Some go for traditional floral selections as an offering to the dead. Others also make the arrangements personalized so they include flowers special to their lost loved one.
Floral wreaths are one of the customary ornaments during funerals and memorials. Aside from the aesthetic appeal, flower wreaths are symbols of life, death, and immortality of the soul. Their circle shape signifies infinity. Thus, it is used at gravesites to represent hope for eternal life.
Some families leave tombs with vases full of flowers. There are vases that can be mounted directly to the ground. This way, you’d be able to ensure the stability of the flower holder.
Flowers in a Box
These might not be a common type of flower accessory but they sure can be one of the most creative floral gifts. Some florists have made these available in their selections. You can also choose to do-it-yourself. Just remember to consider the possibility of rains when choosing the material of the box.
Commonly seen on graves of children, stuffed animals and toys are often a reminder of their youth. During the Easter holidays, some families decorate their kids’ tombs with teddy bears and bunnies. However, there are also cases where the children are the ones leaving stuffed toys to the graves of their grandparents to serve as gifts.
Pictures and Photo Blocks
Probably one of the most personalized ways to decorate gravesites, putting a photo of the deceased right beside their marker can help make their memory alive. Aside from the framed pictures, some people also have pictures imprinted and engraved on other materials such as ceramic or blocks. This might be a good way to make the picture last longer, especially if the deceased is buried in an open space where rain can ruin the prints of photographs.
Personal Notes and Cards
Many cultures believe in the idea of life after death. Some people might even talk to the deceased in their prayers, knowing that the person is looking after them from above. In the same way, writing personalized notes and cards can be a good way to express your heartfelt messages. It might also help alleviate the pain to some extent.
Things that signify the beliefs and achievements of the passed individual can also be left at the site of the grave. These items of commemoration may come in the form of medals, pendants, and statues of religious figures. This tradition can be traced back to the time of Native Americans when tribes would place pendants on the tombstone of their leaders and loved ones.
Adding art items to the tomb can be a great way to personalize tombs. You can leave paintings, drawings, wood carvings, and even sculptures.
TIP: Some items might not be allowed as grave ornaments so don’t forget to ask the cemetery personnel regarding their rules.
Flags are often a symbol of patriotism and heroism. True enough, some countries like the US make it a practice to decorate tombs of veterans with American flags especially during Memorial Day and Veterans’ Day.
These accessories are mostly used in countries that have winter seasons. People cover the tomb with blankets so as to protect them from the snow. Grave coverings can either be an actual blanket or styrofoam with branches of Evergreen. Be sure to measure the dimensions of the grave so it will be properly sized.
These solar-powered grave lights can illuminate the graves during the night. They are usually attached to the headstone and can come in handy if you’re planning on staying in cemeteries overnight. Aside from the conventional bulb figure, a wide variety of light styles are now made available in the market.
Different Styles of Solar-Powered Lights
- Vigil lights or candles
You can incorporate the spirit of the season to the grave ornaments. For example, during Halloween, some people decorate tombs with pumpkins. Heart-shaped items like balloons can also be a good grave accessory for Valentine’s Day.
Losing a loved one can indeed be painful. But someone’s death shouldn’t mean that their memories die as well. Decorating the gravesites is only one of the ways to honor them even after they passed away. As long as you keep them alive in your heart, even the most simple way of offering prayers can truly make every cemetery visit intimate.
Do you want to decorate your beloved’s gravesite? Flowers make a good option! Visit Flower Patch for more details.