An Online Memorial: The Future of Remembrance

by Iain McIntosh - Date: 2006-12-15 - Word Count: 545 Share This!

Headstones corrode, statues are weathered and plaques tarnish. Memorials in some shape or form have been around for centuries, but none have been able to stand the test of time, until now. This is thanks to a new type of memorial, the online memorial. Online memorial websites such as allow the user to create their own personal mini-website without the need for technical knowledge. The mini-website can contain photo's, videos, life stories, audio clips and a timelines. As well as these features, friends and family of the deceased can post their own tributes and messages of condolence, and even light an online candle in remembrance.

Such websites allow their users to be part of a growing community, offering support and understanding to those going through the bereavement process. Despite the fact that millions of people suffer loss each year, friends and family often report feelings of loneliness and isolation for many years after their loss. Here, the anonymous nature of the internet allows users to openly share their feelings with others going through the same circumstances, which they might not otherwise have disclosed to close friends or family. Some online memorial websites even offer users specialized forums to communicate with each other and share their feelings about their loss.

All of this may sound complicated to those of us who are not "computer literate", however, the majority of these websites are based around their ease of use. Everything is user friendly and fully explained, and most will offer telephone and email support to those who may need questions answered. The time it takes to create an online memorial can vary depending on the amount of content the creator wishes to add so can range from five minutes, to many hours.

Despite the fact that a memorial site may only take five minutes to create, once it has been made it will remain online indefinitely. Although there is a fee to pay for such a service, it is usually just a one time payment and prices start from around $100. Many feel this is a very small price to pay for their memorial to remain online forever, and allows them access to the additional features such as the forums previously mentioned. Making a unique site and hosting it by yourself would cost many times this price.

With the rate of international and internal migration at its record high, online memorials offer a perfect solution to those who are unable to visit their loved ones physical headstone to pay their respects. Ideally, we would all like to visit our loved ones places of rest as often as possible, however for many this is simply not practical as many families are now living miles apart, often in different continents.

As the site will remain online forever, not only will today's generation be able to view it and contribute when and where ever they please, but future generations will also be able to do so. Ancestry research has became increasingly popular with a vast number of family tree and genealogy websites available on the internet, and until this point, the user was only able to research a name. Now however, they are able to find their life story, view photographs and video clips and even learn from their ancestor's lives. Ian McIntosh Bsc

Related Tags: memorial, online memorial, virtual memorial, remembrance, remember loved ones, remembered forever

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