Online memorial tributes offer friends and family members a central place to share their grief and honor the life of a loved one. Nothing can take the place of human contact after the loss of someone close but more and more people are turning to the Internet as a way to connect with others during the grieving process.
One of the biggest advantages offered by online memorial tributes is the flexibility for users. The individual creating the website can use a generic page format or design themed pages that reflect the personality and special interests of the deceased. These memorials can be updated whenever someone wants to share a thought or pay tribute on a special day.
Family members can use virtual memorials to let everyone know what made their loved one special. Many people will add a life story highlighting significant events and personal achievements. Content for the site can include written messages, audio, video and photographs. Photos can be organized into individual albums with captions to explain or identify the images. Another option is to create slideshows accompanied by music.
Some sites have features that allow visitors to share their own words, photos and videos. Loved ones and friends can upload their own files to add to the memorial. A site moderator can have control over uploads with the ability to delete or modify content when it is appropriate to do so.
The family can choose whether to open up the site to everybody or keep it private and restrict access to selected individuals. Some online memorial tributes will offer a space for visitors to keep a personal bereavement diary that only they can access. Many people find sharing their thoughts on online memorials, whether publicly or privately, can help ease the grieving process. Having a creative outlet for personal expression is healing for many.
Online memorial tributes make it possible for people who live in distant places to feel a connection to the deceased and the other survivors even from the most remote locations. Some people may not have the opportunity to attend a public ceremony and a virtual memorial tribute provides an alternative way for them to pay their respects.
A tribute website does not need to replace the traditional printed obituary in the newspaper but it will be something that lasts forever and is accessible from any location at any time. People can pay their respects whenever they feel like it. Those who find it hard to express their thoughts through the spoken word may find it helpful to pay tribute through song clips, photos and video.
For families, online memorial tributes offer a permanent record for future generations who want to know what their ancestors were like and what they did with their lives. The site is always available for loved ones to access anytime they want to share their thoughts or read the content and browse the images uploaded by others. Building a site in memory of a loved one is one way to ease the grieving process for all those left behind.
Updated: January 19, 2012