As time passes by, everyone will go through the challenging emotions associated with losing a loved one. They will reflect on their time together and mourn with their family, before laying their relative to rest. Often, this will involve a burial at a churchyard or gravesite with the dedication of a tombstone to mark the place and in the months and years ahead, they may visit to pay respects and perform routine maintenance. However, these tombstones are still susceptible to weathering and the normal process of ageing, and they may eventually fall into disrepair. In this case, it may be necessary to remove the stone for maintenance or to replace it with a new one. What is involved here?
Getting the Go-Ahead
Firstly, you need to check with your jurisdiction to see whether there are any restrictions from a legal perspective. Some places have laws that prevent headstones or tombstones from being removed from a graveyard without the proper authority. Consequently, you should make sure that you get all the necessary permissions so that everybody knows what is happening before you proceed.
Remember, while the family may own the burial plot within the churchyard, the church itself will own the cemetery and you may need to get additional permission from this landowner as well as the local authorities.
If you feel that the tombstone needs to be replaced, then you must provide a temporary memorial at the site so that the original location is protected. This is only fit and proper as, after all, this is sacred ground and you will need to identify the presence of the deceased.
Ready to Replace
In the best scenario, you should choose your new tombstone and have that ready before you actually remove the old one. This will be easier, but remember that you may need to provide an additional "footing" to support the new insert. Consequently, you may have to replace the concrete base while the work is taking place and should always ensure that you keep the disruption in hand while not disturbing any surrounding sites.
Being Sure of Your Approach
When you choose a new tombstone, talk with the suppliers so they can give you some guidance to help you replace it as carefully and conscientiously as possible. You may need to hire a professional team to do this and should always choose people who have widespread experience in this area and understand how to gather all the necessary permissions.