Decorate a Grave Site

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Remembering the passing of our loved ones is an important part of our lives. Visiting the grave site of a family member or friend brings us full circle with their lives, causing us to remember them, their life, and their part in our lives. One mark of respect and memory is often to decorate the grave site with appropriate items.


  1. Decide when it is appropriate to decorate the grave. You might wish to commemorate an anniversary - it might be the anniversary of the deceased's death, their birthday, a special event in their lives, or a special event that you shared while they were still alive. Choosing the appropriate time might also depend on your religious beliefs, or other personal beliefs.
  2. Consider what items would be suitable for decoration. The usual form of grave site decoration is flowers, either living, or the more durable plastic. A potted living plant might also be considered, although this would require constant tending. Other items that you might add include:

    • A flag
    • A cross
    • A framed photo of the loved one, or the family
    • A piece of memorabilia from an occasion or event that was important to them
    • A bird feeder
    • A small tree
    • A basket of goodies
    • Pinwheels
    • Solar lights
    • Children's craft made especially
  3. Leave edible decorations. If you are celebrating an occasion such as a birthday, a wedding anniversary, etc., perhaps share some cake or a favorite wine with the deceased. The food will biodegrade quickly enough but don't do this if it simply attracts vermin.
  4. Consider seasonal decorations. If you wish to share the joy of a season, such as Thanksgiving or Christmas, it might feel appropriate to decorate the grave site with decorations which reflect the seasonal occasion. Take care to keep it low-key and within keeping of the cemetery surrounds. Be sure to remove the decorations within a week of the occasion.


  • Check the regulations of the cemetery or memorial park, to be sure that you can leave items at the grave site. There may be considerations of tidiness, suitability for future burials, safety for gardeners on mowers, etc. to be considered.


  • Avoid leaving valuables at a grave site; they will be stolen quickly and there may be a risk of defacing the grave.