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Savvy Living

Savvy Senior

How to Create an Online Memorial for a Departed Loved One

My mother passed away last week, and because of COVID we did not have a funeral. I would like to create some type of online memorial for her so family and friends can express their condolences and share their stories. What can you tell me about making an online memorial for my mom?

Creating an online memorial for your mom is a great idea and one that is becoming increasingly popular in the age of COVID. Thousands of families have created online memorials for their departed loved ones, especially those who did not have a proper funeral because of the pandemic. Here is 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 stories, fond memories, photographs, comfort one another and grieve. The memorial can remain online for perpetuity or 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. But 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/event capabilities as a replacement for an in-person funeral. The virtual services may include helping you get the word out by offering invitations and RSVP tracking.

Top Online Memorials

To make an online memorial there are a variety of websites available that make it easier than ever to create a thoughtful, personalized memorial profile for your mom to celebrate and honor her life. The process of creating an online memorial can be very satisfying.

You also need to know that some online memorial sites are completely free to use, while others offer a free and a paid version that provides additional features.

Memorialize Facebook

If your mom used Facebook, you could also turn her profile into a memorialized account for free by simply submitting a request to memorialize her account with Facebook. This option will let your mom's family and friends share stories, photos or memories to celebrate her life, with the word "Remembering" shown next to her name.

Once her Facebook account is memorialized, the content she shared is still visible on Facebook to the audience it was originally shared. However, her profile will not show up in public spaces such as people she may know, ads or birthday reminders.

In addition, you can also create a Look Back video through the memorialized page, which is a short video created by Facebook highlighting your mom's pictures and most liked status messages.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living" book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization's official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

Published October 16, 2020
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