How to Raise a Fallen Tombstone

So many readers have written in to ask me this question, I decided to just make a blog entry so that I can refer them here.

Recently I and several relatives visited the graveyard where our people are buried. Vandals had gone through the property and kicked over several grave markers, one of which belonged to my aunt’s mother. It pained my aunt to see the monument in this condition, awaiting action by the cemetary’s board. My brother-in-law and I are both pretty strong, but we couldn’t even budge that huge granite slab. It had sat on another granite base and, when toppled, still had its bottom on the base. Its head, however, was now lower than its bottom and the massive weight combined with its position was just beyond the abilities of two men to handle.

We returned later with an eight-foot landscape timber and a number of wooden blocks. We dug out a small hole and poked the end of the timber under the top of the fallen slab. Using a block for a fulcrum, we raised it a few inches and put some blocks in place to keep it up. Then we used a car ramp for a fulcrum and raised it much higher, which made it easier for two of us to grab it by hand and set it completely upright. Once up, it was easy to rock back a little so we could place construction adhesive under it in hopes of discouraging future vandals.