Some adults are hesitant to bring children to cemeteries. However, visiting a loved one’s gravestone with your family can be healthy and facilitate the healing process. If you’re planning to visit a cemetery, use this guide to prepare.
Talking to Your Children Before the Visit
Children of all ages, particularly ones who haven’t visited cemeteries before, might become anxious when they see a place filled with gravestones. Seeing the grave marker of someone they knew may also be distressing.
Preparing your little ones for what they will encounter can help prevent overwhelming emotions. Before leaving your home, explain to your kids where you’re going and why. Discuss the cemetery as a place where people pay tribute to lost loved ones by leaving flowers or simply recalling fond memories.
If faith is important in your family, this could also be an opportunity to discuss religious beliefs. For example, you might remind them that the person is now in heaven with God. Seeing the physical location of the grave can help children understand that your loved one’s soul still exists.
What to Do at the Cemetery
Don’t forget to follow cemetery rules to respect others and set an example for your children. Explain that each gravestone has sentimental value, so disturbing them is not appropriate. Since visitors may want to spend their time quietly and peacefully, ask your children to keep their voices down.
You might face difficult emotions yourself when visiting the site, but it’s important to maintain a calm demeanor. If they see you get overly upset, your children might also become anxious. When discussing memories elicits painful feelings, talk about lighter subjects, such as the flowers on surrounding headstones.
Psychologists agree that people mourn and heal in unique ways. If your children don’t become as emotional as you expected, don’t tell them what to feel. Focus on answering any questions they have about your loved one’s passing and allow them to work through their emotions at their own pace.
Derrick Monument Company, Inc. creates beautiful monuments to honor lost loved ones. This family-owned and -operated business has created monuments and grave markers for families around New York since 1915. They work closely with clients to create personalized pieces with inscriptions and decorative details that pay tribute to loved ones. Call (585) 768-8470 to discuss your needs, or visit their website for examples of their work.