Saturday Morning Message: Tokens Left at the Cemetery
Author: Carol Lane
When survivors go to the cemetery to spend time, they bring items that are meaningful to their loved one and themselves. The opening picture came from Claire, daughter of William. As you can see, she brings items that go with the season. The cemetery where my son, Bryon, lies allows only flowers, stones and wreaths. This week survivors shared the many different things they bring. I know you will enjoy reading the responses. It is always best to check with the cemetery before you plan to leave something there.
Remember, you can write to me anytime — to contribute, subscribe or if you have thoughts on what could make the Saturday Morning Message more helpful. I look forward to hearing from you. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mother of Bryon
Answers from Survivors
Responses from Survivors to last week's question: What have you left at the cemetery as a token of your relationship?
From Leslie, spouse of James: Peeps! He hated Peeps. One Easter a friend threw them in our yard as a joke. Our daughters thought the Easter bunny did it, so that began the tradition of Peeps in our yard at Easter. The first Easter after his death, at the suggestion from one daughter, we gathered up all the Peeps from our yard from the “Easter Bunny” and “Peeped” daddy’s grave. Our daughters are now in college, but we still Peep him every year.
From Christine, spouse of Dennis: My husband used to give every girl he liked in high school a bag of green M & M's. One day, he presented me with a bag of green ones. I was so thrilled! So, after his death, I took a bag of green ones to his grave. I know the military only left it there for so long, but it was between us.
From Carol, mother of Dustin: I write notes on rocks and leave them on my son, Dustin's, grave. Imagine my surprise when I found this one there one day. So sweet.
From Leslie, mother of Eugene: I normally leave stones on top of his stone. It’s tradition. Rocks are left to show that people paid their respects. If I want to leave something more sentimental, I bury it in front of his stone.
From Jessica, sister of Justin: Beer bottle caps. My brother died before he turned 21. We never got to share a beer, so I take one to his final resting place and pour some out for him. Notice the name of the beer at the bottom of the label.
If you would like to send a message thanking one or all of those who participated in this week’s Saturday Morning Message, send it to me at email@example.com and I will make sure your thoughts are passed along to them.
Question for Next Week’s Saturday Morning Message
Self care is an important healing component to the grieving person. This week we will share ideas to others who may need some thoughts on how you take care of yourself while grieving. The question is: What do you do to practice self care?
Questions are the backbone of the Saturday Morning Message. In order to keep the Saturday Morning Message fresh, I am looking for more questions. If you have questions or topics you would like to see addressed in the Saturday Morning Message, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I directly receive all responses that are sent to this address. Replies to the weekly question are best sent to me by Tuesday morning. You are an important part of this message, and I look forward to your questions or any ideas you may have.
♫ Song for the Week
From Cheryl, mother of Patrick, often visits the cemetery where he is buried. She wrote, “Sometimes I sit and have a Budweiser with him. There is a song I love ‘Lullaby for a Soldier.’ I have laminated lyrics and his photo attached to a wreath or flag. Others have left coins. Some of which have been taken or I find scattered after rain/snow and replace them.
You can send your favorite songs for this song of the week section at email@example.com and include a note about why the song is meaningful to you. I receive all responses sent to that email address.
What survivors choose to keep tells us a lot about their loved one who died and the full life they lived.
Small tokens and items that were special to our loved ones are left behind. Survivors share what they do with them. Holding them close keeps fresh the memories of better times.