Create an Online Memorial for a Departed Loved One

Illustration abstractly representing online memorials

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Quiet Day Manor

By JIM MILLER

(SAVVY SENIOR) Creating an online memorial is a great idea and one that’s become increasingly popular in the age of COVID. Thousands of families have created them for their departed loved ones, especially those who didn’t have a proper funeral because of the pandemic. Here’s what you should know.

What is an Online Memorial?

An online memorial is a website created for a deceased person that provides a central location where their family and friends can visit to share memories and photographs, comfort one another, and grieve. The memorial can remain online for life, or for a specific period of time, allowing people to visit and contribute any time in the privacy of their own space.

Online memorials started popping up on the Internet in the late 1990s but were created primarily for people who were well known. Now these sites are for anyone who wants to pay tribute to their departed family member or friend and ensure they will be remembered.

Content typically posted on an online memorial includes a biography, pictures and stories from family and friends, timelines of key events in their life, along with favorite music and even videos.

Another common feature is an online guestbook where visitors sign their names and write tributes to the departed. Online memorials can also direct visitors to the departed person’s favorite charity or cause to make a donation, as an alternative to sending funeral flowers.

Some online memorial sites today even offer virtual funeral or event capabilities as a replacement for an in-person funeral. They’ll help you get the word out by offering invitations and RSVP tracking.

Top Online Memorials

A wide variety of online-memorial websites are available, making it easier than ever to create a thoughtful, personalized profile to celebrate and honor someone’s life.
The process of creating it can be very satisfying as well.

Some sites are completely free to use, while others offer both a free and a paid version that provides additional features.

Some of the best sites offering both free and paid options are MyKeeper.com (free or $75) and iLasting.com (free or $49/year or $99 for a lifetime membership). For those individuals interested a memorial service that’s completely free to use, some top options are GatheringUs.com (they do charge for virtual events), Memories.net, InMemori.com, and WeRemember.com.

Memorialize a Facebook Account

If the deceased used Facebook, you can also turn their profile into a memorialized account for free when you show proof of death. This option will let family and friends share stories, photos, or memories to celebrate a person’s life, with the word “Remembering” shown next to their name.

Once an account is memorialized, the content the deceased once shared is still visible on Facebook to the audience it was originally shared with; however, the profile will not show up in public spaces, such as suggestions for people they may know, ads, or birthday reminders.

In addition, you can also request a Look Back video, which is a short video created by Facebook highlighting the deceased’s pictures and most-liked status messages. MSN

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of the book The Savvy Senior.

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