wikiHow to Bury Your Burdens

By having a ceremonial burial for your burdens, you can take a symbolic step toward getting rid of them. It may remind you that you can get through anything as long as you bury it and move on.


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    Choose a location for the funeral. Although this is not a serious step, it is recommended you know where to go so that you can tell the other mourners. The location can be as simple as your backyard or as showy as a chapel or real graveyard. Make sure there will be no trouble with your digging a hole; you don't want to get yourself arrested1
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    Prepare a grave. You can simply mark a section of dirt or make a styrofoam gravestone and dig a hole. This is a required step in the process; if you don't have a place to bury your burdens, where will you put them? The whole point of the ceremony is to leave them behind, after all. The hole doesn't have to be very deep; you'll only need to dig down a foot or so. Make it wide enough to receive and hold all the burdens you'll be throwing into it.
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    Ask all the mourners to arrive in their black clothes so the ceremony can begin promptly. Suggest they bring a change of clothing so they can leave in less mournful attire. You can ask friends, family, and neighbors to attend the funeral.
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    Have everyone sit somewhere peaceful or somber so they can reflect on all the burdens in their lives. After a few minutes of quiet contemplation, give each person a pen and a set of note cards. There should only be one burden per note card, and you should only use one side of the notecard for your burden.
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    When everyone has written their burdens, take them to the burial ground in a solemn procession and circle the grave (if you made one). Explain the reason for which you are here. For example, you might say, "We are here today to bury our burdens and the things that drag us down."
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    Light the candle. Explain that it symbolizes faith, trust, surrender, and hope. (This can apply in either a religious or more general sense.) Explain the ceremony.
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    Begin with one of your burdens first, since you are the Mistress/Master of Ceremonies. Read it out loud to the group, light the edge of the paper with the candle, and let the ashes fall into the grave. When burning, say, "Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. I relinquish my burden because I must." (Have all the mourners repeat the phrase together after each burden is read.) Then either pass the candle to the next mourner or hold the candle throughout the ceremony and instruct the next person to read theirs. Keep going around until all the burdens are gone.
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    Cover the grave and give each mourner a note card that has the following inscription: "Goodbye burdens, I don't need you anymore, I am complete as I am. The longer I hold on to you, the harder it is to stand. I don't need a crutch, I can walk on my own. I don't need burdens in my life, so just leave me alone." Join hands with one another. "So, hand in hand we walk away and turn our backs to your grave. We're free from all our burdens now; we are not your slaves. No more burden, anxiety, or guilt. Finally we are free. There's nothing weighing me down now. I'm happy just being me!"
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    Lead your procession away from the grave and change from your mourning clothes to your happier attire.
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    You can now have a small party or celebration to invite new, happy memories and expectations into your life. Ask for happiness, prosperity, and fortune to light your way. Laugh and have fun with your fellow mourners.
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    Go on in life without these burdens and be happy. Although it may be necessary to repeat the ceremony as time goes on and new burdens appear, don't forget to let go of worries and burdens whenever it becomes necessary, ceremony or not. Enjoy living free.


  • Dig the grave site before the other mourners arrive. It doesn't need to be big, but make it somewhere and of an appropriate size that animals will not go back and dig through it later.
  • Write burdens that are intangible things - not PEOPLE that trouble you. Instead of a burden like, "The kids won't behave and listen to me," internalize it and write "I am out of patience and can't make my own children listen." This may seem more depressing, but the point is that when things are going wrong, we start blaming ourselves and make it worse. Once we recognize (and write) that it is our fault, we can burn away that thought and deal with what we can actually do about the problem.


  • Be careful with fire. Make sure the papers are the only thing that will burn. Remove any nearby weeds and water any plants in the area before the ceremony. Remove anything that may catch fire, then replace it later. When burning the papers, drop them into the grave before the fire gets to your fingers. Don't worry if it isn't completely burned - it's all symbolic anyway.

Things You'll Need

  • burdens
  • a candle
  • a match or something to light the candle with
  • an area where you can dig a small "grave"
  • a shovel
  • note cards - enough for everyone involved to have one for each burden they wish to bury
  • black pens - one for each mourner
  • black handkerchiefs, optional (because it might get emotional)
  • black clothing

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