How Visiting a Grave Can Help You Heal

The bonds between us and our loved ones are stronger than death. When someone you love passes away, you don’t stop caring about them. All that love remains and can weigh heavy on your heart.

That’s some of what grief is. The bittersweet feeling of knowing they’re gone from this world, but their impact on your life will never be forgotten. The experience of grief is partly the pain of loss, and partly learning new ways to feel and express love for someone who is no longer in your life the same way they once were.

The grieving process looks different for everyone. But one thing many folks find helpful is having a permanent place to return to and visit with their departed loved ones.

An empty bench next to beautiful flowers and greenery at a cemetery

A place for sadness…

Sometimes, it can feel like there’s a lot of pressure to push grief aside and move on quickly, as if getting back to “normal” was the most important thing. But loss is a major change in your life, and it’s okay to take your time dealing with those feelings. You’ve lost someone precious. Feeling sad about it is as natural and healthy as anything.

Cemeteries provide a safe, serene place to express that sadness. You can always cry at a grave site. You can also sit in silent contemplation or prayer and let your heart be at peace for a bit. When you’re feeling a whirlwind of emotions after a loss, having a place where you can be a mess can be a tremendous relief.

…And joy, too

Cemeteries aren’t just a place for solemnity and sadness. They can be a place of quiet joy and togetherness as well. For many folks, visiting a loved one’s grave is a cherished tradition.

Paying a visit on a special day becomes part of your routine, just like calling them on their birthday had been. You can gather with friends and family members, spread a picnic blanket on the grass, and spend some time together building new memories.

Whether your loss is recent or you’re remembering someone who has been gone for a long time, there can be great comfort in talking to the deceased. You can tell them about what’s going on in your life, provide updates on the grandkids, share your hopes and worries, or just visit with them a bit.

Additional Cemetery Resources

Beautiful bouquet of red holly berries and greenery placed on a grave during a holiday visit

Remembering Your Departed Loved Ones During the Holidays

Including departed loved ones in holiday festivities can help with grief by providing an outlet for the love and care you hold for the one who has passed.

Bunches of beautiful red flowers mounted on grave markers

How to Decorate a Grave

Whether the loss is fresh or you’re visiting years later, decorating a loved one’s grave is a beautiful way to honor the bond you share.