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Cemetery visits

(15 Posts)
Newatthis Sun 12-Sep-21 15:00:33

I firmly believe that once a person dies their spirit goes to a heavenly place and their body, whether put in the ground or cremated, no longer exists. Therefore, I don't feel closer to a person by visiting their grave. I know that many people do. If I want to speak to those I have loved and lost, I do, wherever I am and they are always in my heart and thoughts. However, I am being put under pressure from my sister, to visit my mother's grave. Almost everytime we speak she asks if I have been to or am going there. I live a one and a half hour drive from the cemetery. The part of the cemetery now is an older part, sadly not very nice now and I do not like being there. Drug addicts hang around there and I have felt threatened there. She has a way of making me feel very guilty even though I have given her my reasons for not going.

Ladyleftfieldlover Sun 12-Sep-21 15:07:37

My mother doesn’t have a grave. She left instructions that her ashes should be scattered on the North Yorkshire moors. So my stepfather and two of her brothers did this. My father is buried about an hour away. The last time I visited his grave was in 2017 when my brother was visiting. As you say, Newatthis, my memories of them are in my heart and not in a cemetery. Why is your sister so keen for you to visit your mother’s grave? Does she visit? Just be firm and say that you don’t want to visit at the moment or suggest you go together.

Brocky Sun 12-Sep-21 15:08:29

There is no need to visit graves, It is up to individuals whether they need to visit the grave of relations/friends. Fond memories live on in our hearts and minds.

Nonogran Sun 12-Sep-21 15:19:10

I visit family graves to keep them tidy out of respect for the beautiful setting where they are interred. It’s a pleasurable activity for me and on a nice day it’s half an hour of peace, reminiscing and enjoyment. The graves are 40 minutes away.
If the graves were further than that I might visit a couple times a year just to tidy up, not because my relatives are “there.” I’d try to incorporate it with something else to do in the area & make an outing of it. Why not go on an anniversary or birthday & tell your bossy sister that’s all you’ll be doing!

Shelflife Sun 12-Sep-21 15:39:32

Don't feel guilty about this. I have no interest in visiting graves. I will be cremated and scattered in a beautiful place. I do believe that after a loved one dies they remain in our minds for ever , never forgotten, I don't feel the need to visit a grave in order to be close to them - they are not there, but they will be forever a part of me.
Graves make me shudder!
Talk to your sister and explain your feelings, apart from anything else it sounds as though a grave visit would be frought with danger. I am with you all the way - stick to your decision , stay away and remember your mother with love and in your own way.

Gingster Sun 12-Sep-21 15:45:47

I recently visited my sister in laws plaque where her ashes were buried. It was a woodland burial site. I expected peace and tranquility, beauty and nature in all its glory.
I was very disappointed. It was dreary, dark and depressing. Not well cared for at all . It’s the only woodland cemetery I’ve been to and I hope they are not all like this one.

Scentia Sun 12-Sep-21 16:59:42

I visit my nieces grave twice a year at least. I like to make sure it looks nice and talk to her.
I visited my abusers grave last year (as he is in the same cemetery) for the first time since he died, just to make sure he was dead and to tell him what I should have told him when he was alive.
I think it is a personal choice and it helps me to live with losing my niece in tragic circumstances nearly 30 years ago.
Everyone to their own I say.

Oopsadaisy1 Sun 12-Sep-21 17:06:14

My father was cremated and his ashes were scattered, she always kept a vase of fresh flowers by his framed photo on the sideboard, she had always walked up to visited her parents graves until she was too old to do it, and said that she didn’t want us to have to do that too.
I sometimes takes flowers to my GPS graves but we live 60 miles away so not very often now.
I wouldn’t feel guilty if I was you, your mother won’t know whether or not you visit her grave, it’s more important that you visited her before she died than afterwards. If your DS mentions it to you again change the subject and refuse to discuss it further, you have given your reasons let that be the end of it.

Nonogran Sun 12-Sep-21 18:13:46

Newatthis, I’ve just re-read your post & failed to note you feel unsafe in the graveyard your sister wants you to visit. I’m sorry for my oversight.
In that case I’d be inclined not to visit for fear of your own safety. If anything happened to you how would she feel then? Stand your ground.

Summerlove Sun 12-Sep-21 18:39:45

Your reasons for not going are valid. You have different beliefs.

Ask her why it’s so important to her, but explain that it’s not to you. Remind her that you still love your mother, but for you her physical resting place isn’t her.

After this, shut down the conversation each time she tries to guilt you.

“I’ve already explained. Isn’t the weather lovely?” “I’m not discussing that, how about that local sports team?” “This seems to really upset you, why don’t we speak when you are feeling better?”

Set your boundary. Hold to it,

Teacheranne Sun 12-Sep-21 19:06:04

I have no idea what happened to my fathers ashes after his cremation. My mother certainly did not keep them not were they scattered anywhere. I assume they were just dealt with by the crematorium?

Grannmarie Sun 12-Sep-21 19:34:59

Scentia, flowers

Neen Mon 13-Sep-21 16:32:19

I can understand. My late mum ended up with a cremation stone to visit, which she didn't want but dad sold the house so her ashes couldn't be scattered in her garden. She thought it'd be a burden having a stone. I visited initially a lot as part of the process of grief and now a couple or 3 times a year as I talk to her all the time. I guess maybe your sister is at a different stage to you in grief. There is no right or wrong way.
Maybe a polite " please understand it's ok if you don't understand me, it's not your journey to understand but I talk to mum when I want to and grieve in my own way, I'll pop to the grave at Christmas " you've given her a time frame then .

Smileless2012 Mon 13-Sep-21 20:32:04

I understand where you're coming from Newatthis I don't think my mum is where we scattered her ashes but I went to lay flowers where her plaque is, at it's a year since she died.

It's a personal choice and if your sister is happy to visit your mum's grave that's her choice, as it is yours to choose not too.

Tell her you don't want to go and wont be going. That you respect the decision she has made and she needs to respect yours.

Whatdayisit Mon 13-Sep-21 20:52:47

It's personal choice and why should you feel so pressured Newatthis. Do as you want.
I visit GPS grave to tend it around 3 times a year sometimes more it's in Scarborough.
When eldest GS was making a list of places to visit in Scarborough he put on it visit GPS grave ! I do go to thank them for everything they did for me.

But I go mooching around graveyards regularly. Did a great tour of Manchester's Southern Cemetery through English Heritage a few weeks before the first lockdown. I won't list all the famous people's graves I have visited as this isn't the thread for that ! But Sir Winston Churchill's was very humbling and moved me to tears and my husband.