company cleans and gardens graves in the New Bedford area


MARION – Sometimes it is too painful to go to the grave of a family member. Deborah Thompson knows exactly what it feels like, which is why she offers her services to help people know that a loved one’s grave is in good hands.

Thompson said that the idea of Care of Loving Touch burial sites came after she struggled to get to the grave of her father, who died in 2016.

Deborah Thompson of Loving Touch Grave Site Care sprays the gravestone with water, before rubbing it and landscaping the area around it at Riverside Cemetery in Fairhaven.

“You don’t really know what it does until it happens to you,” Thompson said. “His grave isn’t too far from where I live, but it was just too hard. I just couldn’t go and visit it.

When she finally found the strength to visit him, she decided to plant flowers and plants around the tombstone to pay homage to him. “My father always kept his garden nice and did everything himself. He loved to plant flowers and all that, ”Thompson said.

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But when she hadn’t visited the cemetery for a while, she noticed on her late return that the plants and flowers had wilted.

Loving Touch Grave Site Care looks after grave sites throughout the South Coast region.

“They’ve got people mowing and stuff like that, but they don’t have time to give every stone the attention it really needs,” she said. So, Thompson decided to come back to his father’s grave regularly to clean his grave and take care of the garden bed.

Deborah Thompson of Loving Touch Grave Site Care pulls weeds before clearing a gravestone and landscaping the area around it at Riverside Cemetery in Fairhaven.

“One day as I was sitting there I looked around and thought, ‘I wonder if other people have these difficulties, the same as me,” she said. . Thompson said she took a bunch of photos and advertised her services on social media – she immediately started receiving phone calls.

The Marion native says most of her clients are people who have moved far but want to make sure their loved ones’ graves are always looked after. She had clients who wanted the tombstones cleaned once and others who wanted regular monthly check-ups to take care of the plants and flower beds.

Deborah Thompson of Loving Touch Grave Site Care uses a brush to clean a small stone that was placed in front of the gravestone she was cleaning at Riverside Cemetery in Fairhaven.

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“I’m going to water and weed and mow and make sure it looks good, so every time people stop to visit it’s pretty,” said Thompson. “I kind of call it my cemetery beautification project.”

A special cleaner for tombstones

Thompson says she uses a special headstone cleaner after months of researching the right way to clean a mossy or dirty headstone. “I spray the cleanser, then come back about a week later and try to remove the rest,” she said. “Most of the time I can remove everything, but sometimes it depends on how long the foam is and what type of foam is growing.” She also uses brushes and special tools.

Thompson said, unfortunately, some of the moss can get into the stone, which can become impossible to clean without risking damage. But, she says, graves usually stay clean for about a year until they need to be cleaned again.

Thompson said she also found interesting objects on and around the gravestone, such as seashells, pebbles, coins, military medals or other items.

Before and after work Deb Thompson did on a gravestone and land in the South Coast area.

“I take a picture with my phone, then carefully pull everything out. And then I put it back exactly where it was, ”Thompson said. She once found a golf ball which she later learned that a friend of the deceased had buried it a few years ago when they visited the grave.

Thompson said what she finds most interesting are the stories she hears from clients and the way they say she makes them feel more comfortable. A woman who lost a baby, like Thompson, was unable to visit the grave. She asked Thompson to plant flowers and visit the grave every week.

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“When someone calls me and asks me to help him, I feel truly honored that he asked me to come and unify his family’s final resting place,” she said. “Everyone grieve in different ways. If anyone needs help at the cemetery site then they can call me.

Thompson thinks her father would be proud of what she has already accomplished. “I grew up doing a lot of gardening and yard work with him. And that was part of our day, ”said Thompson. “He taught me a lot about gardening and kind of gave me my love for the outdoors.”

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She runs the entire south coast from Wareham to Westport. “If someone calls and needs my services, I’m ready to discuss anything with anyone because I just like helping people.”

Thompson has a long history of helping people. She served as an EMT after high school and has spent the past 30 years running a preschool at home.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, she was forced to close her school. “I thought, ‘Oh, what am I going to do?’ And then I found myself in the cemetery, ”she said. “I’m kind of swapping hats for a little while, we’ll see where that takes me.”

“I just like helping people. And I like to make things beautiful and inspire people.

Standard-Times writer Seth Chitwood can be contacted at [email protected]. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Standard-Times today.


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