The accustomed dates for visiting the grave of a deceased relative-Part 2:
C. End of 12th month:
Some are accustomed to go to the cemetery and visit the grave of the deceased on the last day of mourning, which is the last day of the 12th month. [By a non-leap year this day falls out the day before the Yahrzeit. By a leap year, it falls one month before the Yahrzeit. Accordingly, due to the custom to also visit the grave on the day of the Yahrzeit, at the conclusion of the first year one should visit the grave twice, one day after the other, or by a leap year, one month after the other [i.e. once on the end of the 12 months and again on the Yahrzeit]. Due to however the difficulty involved in visiting the cemetery twice in close proximity, the widespread custom is not visit the cemetery at all on the last day of the 12th month, and to only visit the cemetery on the day of the Yahrzeit. This especially applies during a non-leap year in which the Yahrzeit falls out on the day after the end of the 12 months, of which the widespread custom is to only visit the grave on the Yahrzeit. Nonetheless, at the conclusion of the first year, some prefer to visit only at the end of the 12th months and not on the day of the Yahrzeit, as this custom is more well sourced in the Poskim.]
End of 12 months falls on day that we do not visit graves [i.e. Shabbos]: See Halacha 3!
When is one to visit the grave; 12 months from the passing or from the burial?
One is to visit the grave 12 months from the date of passing even if the burial took place several days later.
Visiting the grave during the first year, outside the above dates:
During the first year, many avoid visiting the grave on days other than the dates brought above, in order not to burden the soul of the deceased. Others, however, are not accustomed to be particular in this matter, and visit the grave anytime within the 12 months. This especially applies to Kivrei Tzadikim. Practically, if there is no set custom in one’s community there is room to be lenient, especially in the months of Elul and Tishrei. One who is particular in this matter, may nevertheless visit the grave of another relative in the same cemetery even if they are buried near each other. In such a case, he is to stand a distance from the grave of the relative who passed away within the year. Even those who are particular not to visit the grave during the first year, may do so on the day of the Hakamas Matzeiva.
D. Hakamas Matzeiva:
There is no obligation for family members to be by the establishing of the Matzeiva ceremony, and in previous times it was actually rare to have family present. Nonetheless, today it is common practice for the family to visit the grave in honor of the establishing of the Matzeiva. See Chapter 30 for the full details of this subject
It is customary to visit the Kever of the deceased on the day of the Yahrzeit. [If one is unable to visit the cemetery on the day of the Yahrzeit, then he is to visit it within three days before or after the Yahrzeit.]
On the first Yahrzeit: In the first year, some are accustomed to go to the cemetery and visit the grave of the deceased on the last day of mourning, which is the last day of the 12th month. Many who do so do not visit the cemetery again on the day of the Yahrzeit during that first year. Others, however, only visit the Kever on the day of the Yahrzeit even by the first year, and so is the widespread custom. See Halacha C for the full details of this subject!
Yahrzeit falls on day that we do not visit graves: See Halacha 3!
What is one to do if he is unable to visit the cemetery for the Yahrzeit?
See Chapter 28 Halacha 8!
Should one nullify his day of learning for the sake of visiting the Kever on the above dates?
Some Rabbanim rule that a Bochur in Yeshivah should not nullify his day of learning to do so, as it is a greater merit for the soul of the deceased for one to increase in learning on his behalf.
F. Prior to Wedding:
A Chasan or Kallah whose father or mother passed away is to visit the grave prior to the wedding and invite his parent/s to the wedding.
 See Pnei Baruch 37; Nitei Gavriel Volume 2 80-84
 See Nitei Gavriel 76:9
 Michaber 344:20 based on Tur and Rav Haiy Gaon regarding a Chacham, Aluf, Vegaon, and some are accustomed to do so for all deceased relatives; Nitei Gavriel 65:22; See also Michaber O.C. 547:8 and Y.D. 347:3 that the custom is to recite Hespedim and say Hazkara at the end of the 12th month
 The reason: As the soul of the deceased is elevated on the 12th month to Heaven and does not come back down again. [Perisha 344:31]
 See Nitei Gavriel ibid footnote 35 that this custom refers to the last day of the 12th month and not to the next day which is the Yahrzeit, Upashut
 Nitei Gavriel 76:9
 Aruch Hashulchan 344:12 that this Minhag of going at the end of the 12th month is no longer practiced today; Tzitz Eliezer 17:43 and that so is Minhag Yerushalayim; See Gesher Hachaim 29 who does not mention the end of 12 months; By a non-leap year that the Yahrzeit falls the day after the end of 12 months, the widespread custom is to only visit by the Yahrzeit. Furthermore, even by a leap year some write they do not visit at the end of the 12 months. [See Pnei Baruch and Nitei Gavriel 65 footnote 36-37 and 76:9]
 Nitei Gavriel 65 footnote 36
 Nitei Gavriel 76:9 footnote 9
 See Chapter 23 Halacha 1C and Chapter 28 Halacha 1A regarding the dispute between Shach/Taz and the final Chabad custom to follow the day of death; However, see Nitei Gavriel 65:22 who writes one is to visit the grave 12 months from the burial.
 See Igros Kodesh 9:301 [printed in Shulchan Menachem 5:328] “Regarding visiting your fathers Kever during the 12 months, it is dependent on the Minhag of the community, as there are places who are careful in this during the first 12 months. However, if there is no set custom and especially during the months of Elul and Tishreiy, then it is not a big deal for him to go.” See Nitei Gavriel 81:4-7 for all the opinions on this matter!
 See Tur 344 in name of Kol Bo “And one visits him on the day of the Shloshim, and no longer”; Maharam Brisk 2:29; Mishmeres Shalom Hei 26; Gesher Hachaim 29:2; Kinyan Torah 119; See Nitei Gavriel 81 footnote 3 and 10 based on Zohar that during the first year the soul knows of his own suffering and cannot be bothered with suffering of others; Igros Kodesh ibid
 See Igros Kodesh ibid; Nitei Gavriel ibid footnote 12 in name of Kol Bo that there is no source for this custom and in name of Melamed Lehoil 144 that in a time of need one may be lenient
 Divrei Torah 1:28; Nitei Gavriel 81 footnote 14
 Igros Kodesh ibid
 Igros Kodesh 4:173, printed in Shulchan Menachem 5:328
 Maharam Brisk ibid; Nitei Gavriel 81:6
 See Nitei Gavriel 67:3; Orchos Rabbeinu in name of Steipler and Rav Chaim Kanievsky that doing so was never a Jewish custom, and it was taken from the gentiles.
 Rashi Yevamos 122a regarding Yahrzeit of Tzaddik; Kav Hayashar 71 “The custom has spread to visit the Kever of one’s parents on the day of their Yartzite”; Tiferes Yisrael Eidiyus 2 “It is proper on the day of the Yartzite to visit the Kever, as doing so has a great effect on the soul on this day”; Kesav Sofer Y.D. 179 “So is the custom to Daven for the deceased on the day of the Yartzite, and a son honors his father””; Misgeres Hashulchan 376; Darkei Hachaim 34:20; Mishmeres Shalom Yud 16; Nitei Gavriel 71:18; Chapter 76:1 footnote 1 in length
 Nitei Gavriel 76:18
 Nitei Gavriel 76:3
 Nitei Gavriel 82:5