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Graveside Closure
A visit to a loved one's grave marks a turning point for the better in a character's life.


(permanent link) added: 2012-03-19 23:25:59 sponsor: DannyVElAcme (last reply: 2012-05-07 11:14:58)

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Seen It a Million Times, Needs More Examples, need indexing suggestions

Usually, a visit to a loved one's grave is a somber, saddening experience. It's never a happy situation for someone you love to be on the other side. However, sometimes, a character has lived experiences that have helped him grow emotionally and reach a culmination in their lives, and visiting the loved one's grave is a moment of catharsis and closure to the character. Perhaps, the dead loved one was a source of much pain and the character has finally developed the strength to let go. Or maybe the character comes to pay his respects after a long journey of self-discovery, and assures the dead loved one that things are going well for him. Whatever the reason, the visit to the loved one's grave is not a sad moment, but one of quiet reflection and subdued triumph: the character doing the visit leaves the loved one's grave with his head held high, looking forward to a better day tomorrow. This is Graveside Closure.

This is not simply a character visiting a loved one's grave during happy times, though. For this trope to apply, the visit has to be symbolic of a major moment of character development for the better, or the character's visit symbolizes the attainment of a goal. The visit to the loved one's grave is a metaphor for leaving behind sadness and moving forward with renewed purpose in life.

Subtrope of Grave Marking Scene.

Warning: Since this is a trope that deals with endings, and is to an extent a Death Trope, spoilers follow.


Examples:

  • In Lethal Weapon 4, Riggs visits his dead wife's grave to ask for advice about his impending marriage to Lorna, and a story by Leo of all people makes him realize he's ready to let go and marry her.
  • In Maison Ikkoku, Godai visits Soichiro's grave with Kyoko, and he talks with Soichiro's tombstone about how he doesn't want to replace him, but he does love Kyoko and wants to make her happy. Overhearing the conversation is what finally gives Kyoko the strength to let Soichiro go and fully commit to Godai.
  • In the Kenshiro-Den movie for Fist of the North Star, Kenshiro and Yuria pay their respects to the dead as part of their ritual of marriage, and they both see the spirits of their dead friends blessing the union from beyond the grave.
  • In Katawa Shoujo, Emi takes Hisao to visit her father's grave. This act not only symbolizes Emi finally coming to terms with her dad's dead, it also shows she completely trusts Hisao and is fully committed to being with him.
  • In Yakuza, Kazuma visits the graves of Yumi, Nishiki and Fuma and pays his respects, leaving behind his life as a gangster to start anew with his adopted niece Haruka.
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