Created By: DannyVElAcme on March 19, 2012 Last Edited By: DannyVElAcme on May 7, 2012

Graveside Closure

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

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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.
Community Feedback Replies: 13
  • March 20, 2012
    DannyVElAcme
    Bump?
  • March 20, 2012
    fulltimeD
    I totally misread this as "Graveside Culture" but that gave me an awesome idea for a YKTTW, thanks!
  • March 20, 2012
    KTera
    • Subverted in Heavy Rain: in one of Ethan's epilogues, he visits Shaun's grave with Madison, who tells him that they should start a new life together and leave the tragedy of Shaun and Jason's deaths behind them. Ethan asks for a moment alone, then pulls out a gun and shoots himself in the head.
  • March 20, 2012
    Routerie
    Occurs a few times in Lost, and also subverted. Locke attends his father's burial, forgives him and prepares himself to move on. Turns out his father faked his own death, and Locke found himself deprived of his closure. Jack offered a service for his own dead father, declaring that it was his way of seeking closure and was more for himself than his father. Then he began seeing visions of his dead father. He finally did get to approach his father's coffin and get final closure - in the series's second to last scene. In the series's very final scene, Jack and all the other main characters attain closure by attending their own funeral.
  • March 20, 2012
    DannyVElAcme
    @fulltimeD: Glad to hear it, bro :)

    BTW, bumping, please post more examples if you can!
  • March 20, 2012
    nman
    • In Suzuka Suzuka confesses her feelings to Yamato in front of Kazuki's (her old boyfriend who looked very similar to Yamato, and that similarity caused some weirdness in the series) grave. He narrates that "For the first time, I knew she was only looking at me" instead of thinking of Kazuki.
  • March 21, 2012
    TBeholder
  • March 29, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Soap: Danny visits his dead wife's grave to tell her that he caught her killers. He then meets a woman who is visiting her dead husband's grave, and they start going out together. It's the last time Elaine (his wife) is mentioned on the show.
  • March 29, 2012
    Koveras
    • Steve Cortez in Mass Effect 3 can be encouraged to contribute the photograph of his late husband to the war victims memorial wall on the Citadel. For the lack of a grave, Cortez stays at the memorial for some time and when he comes back, he has mostly gotten over his loss.
  • April 5, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    In the anime Psyco Diver, the title character and the young popstar he saved visit the grave of her manager (who was killed by the bad guys). The singer leaves a copy of her latest album, which she was working on before the manager's death.
  • April 5, 2012
    Rognik
    I've seen it a couple times in anime.
    • Bakuman: Mashiro goes to his uncle's grave when PCP takes first place with the first chapter.
    • Fairy Tail: Elfman and Mirajane go to Lisanna's grave. At the end of Edolas story arc, they are still at the grave, but Lisanna has come home.
  • May 1, 2012
    DannyVElAcme
    Bump.
  • May 1, 2012
    Koveras
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