Idea's for children's grave
January 20, 2015 2:08 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for decoration ideas for a children's grave.

I have miscarried twins and there will be a funeral happening. I currently am in Germany (where I am from) but live abroad so I am looking to create a grave that doesn't need a lot of frequently maintenance work as it would be difficult to provide due to distance. I already have a stone and a wooden cross as well as two ceramic statues (babies sleeping in a half moon). I like the idea of windmills and balloons just for the ceremony but am aware that those things get stolen.
There will be tulips for the first week as their father wishes to have them and I already ordered mixed colours. However, this will be short term and I will have to plant something in the spring that will stay without needing a lot of attention. I was thinking if I can plant certain flowers the grave will always look quite coloured but I am missing ideas which ones.
I have done online research but feel there is a lack of items just for children. Maybe it's just me thinking it should look different though.
I understand that there are always regional restrictions on what is allowed or not but I appreciate any ideas.
posted by eternitypost to Society & Culture (8 answers total)
I'm very sorry for your loss. Could you plant tulip bulbs that will come back each year?
posted by cecic at 2:24 PM on January 20, 2015

I am so very sorry for your loss. The ideas you've described sound lovely.

My neighbour (in the UK, so in a climate not terrible different from Germany) has lots and lots of different bulbs planted randomly in his garden, spread around almost like wildflowers - colour starts as early as January with crocus, and then there are daffodils, dahlias, iris, and others I don't know the names of all through spring, summer, and autumn, and then most years in November and December there are still bright yellow winter aconite. It really is beautiful in a delightful, childlike way that would be really nice for the graves of your sweet little ones.

Ideally, bulbs require that their foliage be left after the flowers are finished, to collect sunlight and feed the bulbs until the next time they bloom - however I've found that they'll still last a couple of years even if their foliage is cut back too early (which will probably happen in a cemetery as the graves are maintained and tidied). So it could be something nice for you or your family to do, to plant a few new bulbs every time you visit, even if it's only every few years.
posted by cilantro at 2:27 PM on January 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

A acquaintance of mine, spent many hours slowly planting daffodil bulbs all around the graveyard his daughter was buried in, so that now many years later the entire graveyard looks halo'd in gold in the spring and is breathtaking. As it seems your husband likes tulips, that would also work This was in a small cemetery in the UK, but I think it could be a lovely thing to do around just around a gravesite like cecic & cliantro suggested.
posted by wwax at 2:47 PM on January 20, 2015 [3 favorites]

I agree - tulips and/or daffodils would be lovely. And I am also sorry for your loss.
posted by harrietthespy at 2:52 PM on January 20, 2015

What about local wildflowers that attract native butterflies? Not only do those wildflowers typically care for themselves and self-seed, because they're suited to the local environment, but you'll be providing important habitat.

In Christianity, butterflies are a symbol of the resurrection and of the immortal soul. They also traditionally symbolize metamorphosis and rebirth, because they start as caterpillars and emerge from cocoons.

That would be symbolically meaningful (and also very pretty) for your children's gravesite, while also not requiring a lot of care.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:58 PM on January 20, 2015 [4 favorites]

Do you know anything about the wild animals in the area near the cemetery? I don't know what animals you have in Germany, but chipmunks eat crocus and deer eat tulips. If the cemetery is fenced, deer couldn't get at the flowers - then tulips would be lovely. Iris are hardy - iris that were planted a century ago are still blooming at a family cemetery. You want to look for flowers that will naturalize (many daffodils), that are animals resistant, and possibly old standard flowers. The fancier they are, the more they tend to be hybridized, and the less likely they are to endure. Wildflowers would be lovely. You'll need to know what the cemetery requirements are and conform to that.
posted by clarkstonian at 8:37 PM on January 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm so sorry for your loss. When I had a miscarriage, my sister sent me a rosebush (like this) to plant in my garden. It might be nice to get something for the graveyard and something similar (smaller, maybe?) for where you live, so you can see it, if you think that's something you'd like.
posted by SeedStitch at 5:58 AM on January 21, 2015 [2 favorites]

Thank you all for the very helpful ideas.
I will take everything in consideration and create something nice.
It is also a good idea to have something where I live. We were going to screw a memory plaque on a stone facing the sea as I often go and walk there. Maybe I can plant something close in the area too.
posted by eternitypost at 7:43 AM on January 21, 2015

« Older Should I drive or fly from Baltimore to Nashville...   |   Silly computer problem, but problematic Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.