An online memorial is a website or web-based resource in memory of one or more people who have died. A hundred years ago, usual memorials took the form of churchyard headstones, plaques, books of remembrance, a newspaper obituary notice and a few cherished possessions that belonged to the deceased...
Harness the power of the web for your online memorial
Nowadays, with the rise of the internet and the World Wide Web, this powerful medium offers the perfect way to celebrate the life and passing of someone special. An online memorial or remembrance website offers lots more than a simple printed obituary:
In the olden days, an obituary appeared in the local press for a few days before disappearing for ever. If distant relatives wanted to know more about the deceased they had to be told in a letter or by telephone, then probably had to wait days, weeks or even months before receiving cuttings and other information.
The power of the web means that, whether it's a simple do-it-yourself memorial website or a professionally run specialist site, it's never been easier to create and maintain a personalised tribute to a much-missed friend or family member. What's more, you can decide who has access to the website: close friends and family or the whole web community - the choice is down to you.
DIY and professional online memorials
A simple homemade online memorial website might consist of a few pages containing photographs, tributes, funeral details and a celebration of the loved one's life. Maybe there will be some favourite music too; perhaps also a couple of video clips.
Professional online memorial sites take things a stage further with professional design and production, site maintenance and associated services such as funeral planning, will making and other valuable services. Some online memorial websites even publish lists of people to be remembered, feature online tributes, or allow the lighting of virtual online candles to signify someone's remembrance. Others enable personalised information to be converted into memory books, CDs and DVDs or other mementoes. The choice is yours: will it be a simple site akin to a standard 'hobby' homepage, or a professional, fully functioning online memorial?
More than just a personal tribute
The best online memorials are more than just remembrance websites and offer more than just the opportunity to create a tribute to someone. Their memorial services are part of a wider resource for funeral planning, something that enlightened people are increasingly doing to make sure their wishes are fulfilled when they die.
It's a sign of the times that more and more people are taking this important life decision. Planning your own funeral and memorial tributes is an incredibly responsible thing to do; not only does it let you control what happens after your death, but it also frees your loved ones from the heartache and anguish of trying to second guess your wishes after you have died.
A permanent memorial after someone's death
We'd all like to live forever. In their way, online memorials make this possible by sustaining the memories and remembrances that ensure we live on in the hearts and minds of family and friends. And after someone's passing, and depending upon the products that they've subscribed to, an online service can be so much more than more than just an online memorial.
The best sites offer a full range of services covering will writing (free 'instant' wills as well as paid-for solicitor-checked documents) and notification of the deceased's funeral wishes as well as the ability to create and download memorial CDs and even create an online memorial.
What could be more exciting and comforting than being able to specify that your memorial portfolio (photos, music, ideas, bodies of work and personal thoughts) is available to a select group of special friends and family or, should you so desire, to anyone with access to the internet who wants to view your online memorial site.