Cemetery Etiquette

Let us guide you through the ins and outs of your cemetery experience.

A cemetery is a coming together of disparate states - life and death, nature and culture. Cemeteries are places where the past and the future meet.  Woodlawn Memorial Gardens is designed with winding roads and picturesque vistas.  Its grounds invoke the idea that, once you enter the gates, you enter into a space where you may find solace.  However, similar to the juxtaposition of living/dead and nature/culture, Woodlawn is a place for appropriate recreation and celebrating life.  The emphasis at Woodlawn Memorial Gardens is not on death but on beauty, memories and the living.

Visiting the Cemetery

The policies applicable to Woodlawn Memorial Gardens can be accessed HERE.  However, there are a few common courtesies that may be observed at any cemetery; these include:

1. Be Polite

Do not play loud music or utilize recreational equipment that makes loud noises as this may                disturb others.

2. Do Not Litter

Though picnics, walking, reading, riding bikes and attending to genealogical pursuits are welcome at Woodlawn Memorial Gardens, littering is not. Littering creates extra work for the groundskeeping team and shows disrespect for other families. Take your refuse with you when you go or put it in provided trash receptacles.

3. Leash Pets

When you bring your pets, be sure to clean up after them.

4. Follow roadways and do not drive on the grass.

Drive slowly and obey any traffic signs posted in the cemetery.

5. Be Respectful

Do not use offensive language.

6. Do not take photos of other visitors or of other funerals or services.

A graveside service is often a very private time for those who have lost a loved one. It is best to steer clear of services taking place within the Memorial Gardens and try not to interfere with funeral processions out of respect for both the deceased and his/her family and friends.

7. Be aware of where your children are and what they're doing.

Though it is fine to bring children to a cemetery, they should not be rowdy and playful atop the graves as this offends many. If children need to expend some energy, take them to a section of the cemetery where there are no graves and let them be joyful there. Obviously, be sure that their joy is not interfering with an occurring service. If you feel it may interfere, please leave and come back later.

8. Keep in mind cultural imperatives.

For example, if you are visiting a Jewish cemetery or a Jewish section of a cemetery, review these observances before visiting. Other cultural and religious entities have their own list of dos and don'ts so be sure to research these if applicable to your visit.

Showing Support

There are no right or wrong ways to show support. You are being a source of support by simply coming to the funeral service. However, another great way to show support to the family is through sharing memories and stories of their loved one. You can also offer gestures of support by purchasing flowers or small gifts, such as a card, food, books or personalized gifts that reflect memories of the deceased. To get some more tips, check out our section on grief support. To find beautiful gifts for a loved one, visit our store.

More Resources

Cemetery FAQs

Everything you need to know about funeral and cemeteries.

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Grief Support

How to truly support yourself and others at a time of grief.

Read More

Cemetery Etiquette

Let us guide you through the ins and outs of your cemetery experience.

Read More

Local Resources

Local resources for all your support and planning needs.

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