Burying a child

It's one of the hardest things to have to bury your child. It feels like it goes against the natural order of things. It can be hard to find items that suit a young life being cut short and help you to truly remember the spirit of the child you are burying. This site has a collection of ideas and thoughts that can be used when coming up with memorial services that celebrate the short life and personality of your child. It can be a useful resource for family, communities or schools plan sympathetic funeral services for children and their loved one.

What Not to Do With a Hard-to-Read Headstone


While stone may be one of the strongest natural materials available, it's not impervious to damage. As a result, all headstones will suffer some level of deterioration over time. Unfortunately, without proper care, some headstones can become so worn that they're impossible to read. There are many common methods out there for making a weathered gravestone easier to read, but not all of them work. In fact, some can actually do further (and sometimes irreparable) damage to the stone. Here are the three worst ways to try to fix a hard-to-read headstone.


Chalk is one of the most commonly recommended ways to make a worn headstone easier to head. It's also one of the most damaging. It may seem hard to believe, but despite being solid, most types of stone used to make gravestones are actually very porous. As a result, the chemicals in chalk will easily seep into the stone's natural pores if rubbed over the stone's surface. So, while chalk may make a gravestone easier to read, you should avoid using it unless you want to risk permanent staining.

Shaving Cream 

Another very commonly proposed solution is to wipe shaving cream over the stone. Shaving cream fills the engraved markings, helping them show up better, but it can also cause serious damage. Most shaving creams contain dozens of acidic chemicals. These acids will attack the surface of rock like marble and limestone, rapidly deteriorating the headstone and making it even more difficult to read. On top of that, dirt sticks to shaving cream easily, leading to an increase in bacterial growth that will break the stone down even quicker.

Taking a Rubbing

For generations, people have been taking rubbings of gravestones to better read their inscriptions. However, this tradition is so damaging to headstones that it's banned in many cemeteries. When a headstone is already deteriorating, rubbing over its surface can lead to increased cracking, chipping and flaking of the stone's surface. If you're considering taking a rubbing of a headstone to read the inscription, there are many safe methods available. If you were thinking of taking a rubbing as a visual record, it's best to stick to taking a photograph instead.

Thankfully, while there are many wrong ways to read a worn headstone, there are also safe, non-damaging ways to clean them and make the inscription clearer. If you have no experience with cleaning old gravestones, it's best to call in a cemetery restoration professional. They'll be able to get your headstone looking as clean and clear as possible without doing further damage, as well as give you tips on how to keep the stone in good condition for years to come.


3 November 2018