One of the most important things to do after losing a loved one is to keep their memorial up to date. There are several tips that will help keep your loved one's memorial looking lovely and well-tended, whether it's a cemetery headstone or a mausoleum.
Choosing appropriate flowers for different times of the year is one of the first things to consider while maintaining a cemetery or mausoleum memorial. In the spring, roses, lilies, and daisies are popular choices, while in the summer, sunflowers and other vibrant blooms can brighten the mood. For added texture and visual interest in the fall, consider adding colorful autumn leaves or pinecones.
Many cemeteries also offer artificial flower plans that allow families to decorate their loved one's gravesite with beautiful seasonal flower arrangements.
Another important point to remember when caring for a cemetery memorial is to keep it tidy. Depending on its position and the amount of foot traffic surrounding it, you may need to wipe clean the headstone or mausoleum with a moist cloth from time to time. If you see any dirt or grime accumulation, clean it up as soon as possible.
You can expect your cemetery's groundskeepers to maintain all cemetery memorials on a regular basis. Trimming grass and weeds, clearing up leaves and garbage, and resetting any loose stones are common examples. Contact the cemetery staff immediately if you have any complaints concerning the aesthetics of your loved one's memorial.
Because cemeteries are typically big and sprawling swaths of ground, it's difficult for the maintenance team to adequately and thoroughly care for every tombstone. The grounds, roadways, and cemetery structures are their first priority. The kind of attention that many families seek for their loved one's final resting place is not feasible for a cemetery's landscaping crew.
Simple Tips for Family Members
In time even a once-beautiful gravesite might begin to appear neglected. Maintaining a cemetery site properly doesn't take much time or work, but if done on a regular basis, it will keep your loved one's memorial looking as it did when they were first laid to rest. You can help keep the cemetery or mausoleum memorial looking well-maintained by following some simple recommendations.
Check the rules for your cemetery before starting any cleaning or decorating projects. Some are quite strict about the types of work that can be done and the types of embellishments that can be placed on gravestones. Here are some things to think about for the gravesite once you've learned the protocols:
Repairing and Maintaining Headstones
Despite the look of a new headstone, these memorials aren't weather-proof. Anyone who has been to a centuries-old cemetery knows that they discolor, degrade, and even suffer surface cracks and break loose due to weather and the freeze/thaw cycle.
Repairs can be simple or complicated, depending on how old the headstone is and how long it's been since the last cleaning. If the headstone is in good condition, cleaning can be done with water and a soft-bristled brush. Never scrub with a wire brush, steel wool, or scouring pad. The stone can be damaged by these items.
If water and a gentle brush aren't enough and you need to use a detergent, make sure it's a non-ionic detergent. The majority of household cleaners are not recommended. Bleach and other harsh detergents should never be used. For headstone cleaning, we always recommend D/2 biodegradable cleaner that is pH neutral and contains no salts, bleach, or acids.
Modern epoxies make it possible to put a chipped or fractured stone back together and make it look excellent (provided you can find all the parts and it hasn't disintegrated).
How to Clean Bronze Markers
STEP 1: USE SPRAY
Spray your bronze plaque with water and a mild dish soap (such as Ivory® or Simple Green®). Make sure the soapy water doesn't sit for too long.
STEP 2: USE A WIPE
Wipe away any dirt and debris using medium pressure and a soft, lint-free cloth.
STEP 3: SCRUB
If your bronze memorial is still dusty or grimy after washing with soap and water, scrub the bronze and clean the remainder with a soft bristled brush and a specialized bronze cleaning agent.
STEP 4: WASH AND DRY
Ensure that the burial monument has been thoroughly cleaned and is free of all chemicals, dust, and dirt.
STEP 5: (Optional) WAX
To help contribute to the protective coating, apply a small layer of wax (without silicone or other harsh chemicals). With a soft wax detailer, buff the surface lightly and softly.
Planting and Landscaping
There isn't often much to do in this area because most cemeteries provide mowing and overall landscape care, but a little effort can often make a gravesite appear that much better. There are frequently weeds that need to be plucked, and the grass near the burial marker must be trimmed. These tasks are simple to complete by hand.
If you're thinking about planting flowers or a tiny bush, make sure you read the cemetery laws beforehand. Otherwise, your efforts could be for naught. Artificial flowers are a good alternative to real flowers because they require less maintenance and have a longer lifespan. Artificial flowers today appear to be very realistic, last a long time, and are not much more expensive than real flowers.
Memorials and Decorations
When it comes to cemetery rules and regulations, this is the area where you should be most concerned. It's natural to want to leave items such as memories, flowers, stuffed animals, and notes. It's crucial to remember, though, that one person's meaningful memorial may be another person's eyesore.
In general, when it comes to grave decoration, less is more. Consider what the weather might do to whatever you leave at a memorial place before you leave it. Is it going to blow away? Will it break, and so forth? You don't want to make a mess or create a hazard that you'll have to deal with later as a maintenance worker.
Gravesite care should take no more than an hour if done twice a year. That isn't a huge commitment for something that honors the life of someone you care about.
Even after your loved one has passed away, you can help keep their cemetery or mausoleum memorial looking lovely and well-maintained by following these simple recommendations. You may let your loved one remain a part of your life even after they have passed away by tending to their final resting place.