Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Grave Tending as a Ritual

I was wondering if anyone has ever tended graves as a family tradition or has incorporated it into a form of ancestor veneration. What sorts of things do you do at the gravesite? How often and when do you go?

I grew up in a family that doesn't visit graves. They believe that once the soul leaves the body, the place where the remains lay is just an empty spot so there's no point in going. I've been feeling a strong inclination to visit and tend the graves of my recently deceased relatives though as a way to honor them. Something inside keeps insisting that the bones of my ancestors are sacred and if possible, I should go and visit.

I'd really appreciate any experiences folks are willing to share. I've never visited cemeteries except at burials and touring historic ones.

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