Helpful Tips for Grave & Urn Decoratingon December 8th, 2011
Earlier this year I wrote a blog titled “Just Call Me “The Expert Grave Decorator”.
I decided to repost some grave decorating tips for you; in addition, I added pictures and some tips and ideas for those of you who have your beloved’s ashes in an urn.
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An excerpt from “You Can Call Me “The Expert Grave Decorator”…
Can u list that on a application?
Skills: …. Expert grave decorator …
A fellow widda friend called me a “grave decorator expert” a few days ago. Made me smile. I know I’m not supposed to be prideful, but I’m kinda proud of that.
I know it’s kinda weird and morbid.
I take lots of time making/ keeping my man looking good.
Keeping the stone clean and taking care of the grave and my flowers looking nice. Decorating on holidays, anniversaries, etc.
It’s something that I’m very passionate about and devoted to. And difficult to put into and describe with words.
Passionate, devoted, lovingly, determined, … hmmm doesn’t seem to do it justice.
It’s just another way for me to show my love for my beloved Greggie, it just came naturally. Didn’t think twice about it. And still don’t. Even when my in-laws remove what I put out there. I still do it, knowing that they at some point will take my things off.
And I wasn’t a “grave” person before either.
So my widda friend needed ideas for her Hubbies 6mo Heavenly Bday. And said she wanted to do something at his grave and hadn’t decorated a grave before and how I’m her expert grave decorator. (yup, that’s me )
After I gave her some tips and ideas and she had a plan of what she wanted to do and was excited about decorating and the meaning behind what she has chosen to put out there.
Only one catch, she had to take a pic of how it turns out and txt it to me!
And she said, “I like this. Thank you. I knew you were the one to ask for help.”
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I’m so glad that I could help her in some way. It’s what I’m here for, to walk beside you on this journey; to support and encourage you. I hope that the following ideas help you as you think about what you would like to do to honor your beloved on a special day.
Tips for Decorating Your Beloved’s Grave
1. Cemetery Rules, Regulations and Restrictions
First make sure you are aware of the restrictions the cemetery where your loved one is at. Every cemetery has different rules and regulations, even for flowers (fresh and fake), so make sure you familiarize yourself with those. You can find out the rules online or at the front desk of the funeral home.
2. National Holidays
If you are decorating for a National Holiday, see when you can put them out and what day you have to pick all your stuff up before the grounds crew trashes them. You can find out the rules online or at the front desk of the funeral home.
3. Observed Military Holidays:
Some cemeteries put U.S. flags out but not all, if not place one out there with your beloved.
Ex: On Veterans day we put one out with some flowers for my grandpa.
Plan out what you would like to do BEFORE you go shopping or go out to your beloveds. Having a map/ plan prior keeps your head a little straighter when you’re in the moment and emotions are going everywhere as you are trying to find just the right things. The grief monster can hit us hard.
5. Decorate With Meaningful Items
The key to how I decorate is that I decorate with things that are meaningful to Greg and/or to our relationship. (Not just whatever I find and put out there, nor am I putting things that are my favorite).
Ex: His favorite color and colors symbolic to our relationship, such as our wedding colors.
Ex: Types of flowers symbolic to our relationship.
Ex: I put yellow roses out with my grandmother, because she loved them.
Ex: Religious or faith based items. (See picture below of a rosary a family placed on their loved ones grave).
6. Be Creative : )
If you are able, try your hand at making your own decorations, i.e. garlands, wreaths, etc. I hand make Greg’s garlands and wreaths, it’s very therapeutic for me.
Most craft stores can make wreaths for you as a custom order and some stores will modify already displayed items.
Now you can decorate, you know however you want, I’ve just naturally done my decorating in this manner.
To be honest I didn’t even realize that I was doing it (because it just came natural to me) with things significant to us, until my best friend from high school pointed it out a few months after his accident.
It’s just something I’ve naturally done.
7. Keep a Tradition
Keep a tradition going that you did when they were still here.
For example: Ever since I was a kid, on Father’s Day and birthdays, I gave my dad and grandpa one of those “mini- balloons on a stick”. Idk the name of it, but I still put one out there for my grandpa.
You can always start a new tradition out there with your loved one.
For example: Last year, I made a Christmas tree for Greg, with all of his favorite things. Some of the ornaments are handmade and others are store bought. Obviously each year, things need to be replaced, given it sits out there for a while in the weather, but I plan on starting a tradition and putting this out each year.
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Tips for Decorating the Space Where You Have Your Beloveds Urn
- Think about making an 8×10 of your favorite photo of your beloved and placing the framed photo next to the urn
- Craft stores have small bouquets of flowers, think about a color scheme that works best for you and lay those next to the urn
- Place fresh flowers (such as roses) in your beloveds favorite color in a vase by the urn
- Place a single rose next to the urn
- Place and light a candle in honor of your beloved
- Decorate with ribbon, or a combination of ribbon and a bow
- Make a small sized garland to decorate the urn, possibly add small sized flowers in type or color that your beloved preferred or is significant to your relationship
- If you have your beloved’s ashes in a bag and have not already done so, possibly think of adding a necklace, cross or rosary around the bag
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If you would like more ideas, please send me a message.
The sky is the limit, the only thing holding you back is you.
Even people not creatively inclined can put together something meaningful and beautiful even if it’s simple.
For me the key to my being an “expert grave decorator” is that it’s natural and comes from the heart. That means more than anything. And I know that’s one of the things that my Greggie loves about me.
So go out and decorate meaningfully!
And I Thought I Loved You Then My Love.
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