Customs in memorializing
The loss of a loved one is tragic regardless of your faith or set of beliefs and memorializing that loss is a universal practice that crosses all faiths. The art and practice of memorializing is important to help you move forward through the grieving process and find some peace in your own life as well as can be of particular comfort depending on your religion. There is no right or wrong way to honor or pay tribute to someone in your life that has passed away. Memorializing simply provides a measure of comfort to those left behind and the act of memorializing can bring some closure to those that are suffering the loss of a loved one.
One of the most popular and prevalent ways of memorializing someone in your life that has passed is to mark the grave site with a marker and then decorate around the marker with flowers or other signs of devotion and dedication. Sometimes when a person or family pet is killed in a tragic road side accident you will see a memorial of flowers, stuffed animals and even crosses placed at the scene of the accident. This continuous display of devotion gives loved ones a way to show that they still miss and love those that were taken from them and also gives them a place to go to grieve as well as find some comfort.
There are other customs that you will find are particular to a religion or faith such as the Jewish custom of leaving stones around the tombstone. This practice of laying the stones either on the marker or around the marker is yet another way of showing that despite the fact that their loved one is deceased they are still very much with them in their heart. It has been said that many Jews will gather stones in their travels or journeys through life and bring them back to place them at the grave of their beloved. You will often time find bits of glass or coins in lieu of stones around the markers in cemeteries.
The Chinese have a unique custom of their own known as 'grave sweeping' which is called Ching Ming. This practice involves the cleaning and maintenance of the graves of their ancestors and because they are of the belief that their ancestors still have physical needs, food, drink and gifts are left on the graves after the cleaning has taken place. It is the belief of the Chinese that all fortune both good and bad stems from how their ancestors are treated; hence the reason they take seriously the maintenance of the burial grounds of their loved ones.
Honoring and paying your respects to the deceased is an important part of moving forward and teaching future generations the importance of family and the ties that bind you together. Depending on your faith or religion you may leave flowers, coins, stones or even food and drink at the burial site of your loved one as a show of respect and devotion.