When loved ones pass on, the remaining family always want to create a lasting memory that will commemorate their life and celebrate their contribution. Often, this is in the form of a headstone which is placed at the top of their grave in a local cemetery. While this tradition has been going on for many hundreds of years, it's true to say that many people are opting for cremation instead and as such, the popularity of the grave site has declined. This has had an unfortunate side-effect, in so far as the cemetery itself may have been allowed to go into disrepair and, in short, has seen its better days.
If you want to do your part to put things right and understand that it will take an effort to restore the cemetery to its former glory, how should you go about this?
It's not always easy to get a consensus when it comes to cemetery restoration and indeed, it's not always easy to get a lot of help along the way. Nonetheless, you should begin by creating a proper plan, so that all those with an interest can see what you're trying to do. You will be able to paint a picture of how the site could look in the future if certain plans were followed and you should be careful to document each grave and its condition along the way.
You may need to refer to church records or other information to determine the number of graves at the site and the relevant details. Once you've done so, you should clearly identify the type of headstone and the dimensions of the grave site itself, so that you have a very clear picture before any work can commence.
It's certainly possible that some markers, tombstones and other monuments are damaged or may be overgrown. If this is the case, make a clear note of this and also describe the condition of the landscape and whether vegetation or weeds have taken over in certain points.
One of your primary goals must be to establish pathways and sometimes roads that allow people to access remote parts of the cemetery. Consider whether these are sufficient for future needs or whether additional pathways may need to be installed. Also, consider how growing or mature trees may be used in the "new" graveyard and whether they will need to be replaced, cut back or otherwise modified.
Many of the structures within the graveyard are made from different stones and other materials. You need to know how to restore these using the most appropriate method and may need to bring in some skilled workers, if some of the tablets or other items are particularly fragile.
Once you have documented everything, you will be able to make a plan to address each issue, step-by-step. Remember to engage the help of professionals in cemetery restoration when needed so that the project is completed to the satisfaction of all concerned.