After funerals at funeral homes in Cleveland, OH, you will go to the cemetery to bury your loved one, and then, later, you will return to the cemetery regularly to visit their grave and the graves of other family members. But cemeteries have certain rules of respect that should be followed and not broken.
One of these rules of respect is that people don’t go to the cemetery except during its posted hours. While some cemeteries are open all the time to the public, others are gated and have posted opening hours when the gates will be open (usually this is sunrise to sunset).
There is, quite frankly, no reason for anyone to be in a cemetery for any legitimate reason except during daylight hours. But, if you have a special reason for visiting the cemetery, and you can’t make it during the daylight on the day you want to go (a wedding anniversary, a death anniversary, a birthday, or another significant day), then wait until the next closest time when you can visit the cemetery during the day.
Another rule of respect for cemeteries is not to speed through them. Some cemeteries are small enough that they simply have a parking lot where you can park and then walk into and around the cemetery. Other cemeteries, however, are very large, and they have roads in them to enable visitors to drive up to or near the grave(s) they want to visit.
Leaving glass items on your loved one’s grief is something else that you shouldn’t do in a cemetery. If they get blown over or knocked over, they can break and present a hazard for other visitors to the cemetery.
A rule of respect that should also be observed is not leaning or sitting on grave headstones or memorials. In many cemeteries that have been around for a very long time, some of the ground has shifted around these monuments so that they can easily be turned over with the slightest amount of pressure.
While the original purpose of cemeteries in the United States was to promote spending family time together in beautiful outdoor spaces – i.e., public parks – and that often included playing games or having a picnic, times have changed and so has acceptable cemetery etiquette. It is considered now to be disrespectful to the dead to bring the family and a picnic lunch to eat in a cemetery.
Knowing what kind of photography is acceptable in cemeteries is also a matter of cemetery etiquette. While a new trend of hiring funeral photographers is emerging, with the photographer capturing moments of mourning throughout the funeral process (including in the cemetery), it is not respectful to photograph mourners in a cemetery without their explicit permission or invitation. It is, however, perfectly acceptable to photograph gravesites in a cemetery, since this can often be an interesting photographic record of families through time.
Another rule of respect in a cemetery is not to remove anything from any of the gravesites unless you are a family member whose job it does that. Families often put flowers, cards, and stuff animals on their loved ones’ graves to commemorate a special day or anniversary, and they often come back a day or two later to find that everything they placed at the gravesite has been taken. They can often feel the same violation as if someone broke into their homes or their cars and stole things from them because graves are the same as personal property.
If you’d like to learn more about cemetery etiquette at funeral homes in Cleveland, OH, our compassionate and experienced team at E. F. Boyd & Son Funeral Home is here to help.