Planning Funerals for Young Children, Infants and Stillborns

Planning Funerals for Young Children, Infants and Stillborns

A Guide on Cemetery Restoration

by Sophie Barnes

Cemeteries have a historical, religious and spiritual significance in many communities around the world. Poor management has left some graveyards in a deplorable state. In this excerpt, you will learn how to restore a cemetery. 


Create a small committee of community members interested in restoring the cemetery. Assign each of the members a specific task. The primary purpose of the committee should be to mobilise other members of the community to take an active role in restoring the cemetery. The committee should also:

  • Map the cemetery to know how much area it covers and how many graves it has.
  • Survey the cemetery to understand the scope of restoration works.
  • Create a budget for the various works and brainstorm on how to secure funding.
  • Create a timeline for the restoration works.

Preventing further deterioration. 

As you plan the restoration works, you should also try to prevent further damage in the cemetery. For instance, regular watering of the grass can go a long way in increasing grass cover in the cemetery. On the other hand, repairing fences can prevent people from damaging the lawn by using unofficial routes into the graveyard.

Landscape works. 

Landscape works should take priority as they have immediate effects. Restore pavements and driveways using asphalt, exposed aggregate, interlocking pavers or concrete. Plant trees to improve the atmosphere of the cemetery. All season trees may be better than deciduous trees. Choose low maintenance grasses that do not require regular mowing. The grass you plant should also be suitable for your climate. Finally, plant an array of shrubs and flowers for decorative purposes or to be moulded into live fences. 

Restoring gravestones. 

Below are a few tips to help you restore gravestones: 

  • Remove any plant growth on the gravestone.
  • Create a drainage plan that prevents water from pooling around the gravestone. Such water accelerates plant growth and weakens the tombstone.
  • Repair structural defects such as cracks and broken joints.
  • Clean the gravestone using a non-ionic cleanser, poultice or baking soda. Be gentle as you may cause further damage if you use too much force. Buff the headstone after cleaning.

Maintaining the cemetery. 

As the restoration works continue, create a cemetery maintenance plan to ensure that the cemetery remains in pristine condition. Community members could volunteer to conduct maintenance works on a monthly or quarterly basis. You could also ask your local council to manage the cemetery. 

When considering cemetery restoration, have a planning committee, take action to prevent further deterioration, conduct landscape works, restore gravestones and regularly maintain the cemetery after restoration.


About Me

Planning Funerals for Young Children, Infants and Stillborns

Losing a child is the hardest thing anyone could ever go through – I know because it happened to me. Through the grief, I had to find new ways to breathe, to function and to live. Of course, I also had to plan a funeral and memorial service for my child. If you have lost a child or a baby or had a stillborn, you have probably shared many of these feelings. If this has just happened to you, you may be wondering what to do next. First, I extend my sympathy, and secondly, I offer you this blog to help you grieve and help you understand the basics of funeral planning. Take care.