When a loved one passes away, many times those left behind wish to commemorate that person with various gifts and decorations to be left at the grave site. These can be left at any time, though usually people choose significant dates that were meaningful to the dead. Friends and relatives will also leave cherished items on a grave on the anniversary of the passing or the burial.
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Leaving flowers that are in season addresses the passage of time as those left mourn. In spring, daffodils and tulips are the most popular. Tiger lilies and roses dominate the summer seasons, while during the fall, many choose to leave cattails or mums. Winter flowers are usually carnations, but don't expect real flowers to last long in the cold of the season.
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Flowers for Any Time
Roses, while normally chosen during summer, are available all year and are seen at graves during any season. To mark the remembrance more permanently, many choose artificial arrangements. From silk flowers to topiary trees, wreaths and bushes, the fabric will last for months, even in the elements. Check the burial grounds for regulations on when you will be allowed to drop the gifts off. Some have strict schedules about what time of year artificial flowers are accepted.
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Mainly seen on children's graves, a stuffed animal is often left as a friend for the passed. Teddy bears are the most common, and bunnies are seen around the Easter holiday. Sometimes children will leave stuffed animals on the site of their grandparents' or parents' graves, as a gift. These tokens are often cleared by-yearly or more often by the custodians of the grounds to prevent aged and tattered litter on the sites.
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Items commemorating the service done by the passed individual or the support he gave while alive can be left at the site of his grave. These include statues, medals, memorial or vigil candles and flags. Often these items mark service to country or kin in some way. Other times, the items mark religious leanings or beliefs held by either the dead or their survivors. This tradition dates back to Native American times when the Plains tribes would leave pendants on graves of their leaders and loved ones.