We currently live in a globalized world where everyone and everything is spread out. Luckily, digital technology lets us collapse those boundaries. We can live in New York but have family buried in Oregon, and still visit them whenever we want. In our global world, the ability to share photographs, stories and personal anecdotes is becoming increasingly important and easier to do. Here is the where the online memorial comes in.
When those we love pass away, it can leave us feeling overwhelmed. We may ask ourselves, why and what now? With these questions comes the need to remember and properly memorialize the deceased. The truth is that the process of grieving is never perfectly timed and is never the same for everyone. Some will want to work past their grief as quickly as possible and for others, a healthy grieving process will include reminders and the reliving of memories.
There are a number of ways which we can preserve memories– photographs, memorial services, and other acts of remembrance– but the creation of an online memorial is a practice that can be both deeply personal, as well as highly informative for future generations. The past is what shapes us, and remembering those we have loved and lost is an important part of living mindfully and building future relationships.
What Are Online Memorials?
Online memorials are online spaces where the deceased are memorialized. Since they were first introduced, online memorials have grown in popularity, offering families a new and social way to remember their loved ones. Online memorial profiles let you record as much or as little personal information as you choose about those who have passed away; providing space to include all basic information about the individual (place of birth, occupation, family members, etc.), as well as offering the opportunity to share personal memories and anecdotes, upload pictures, videos, and write condolence messages.
Did You Know? Online memorials became popular after the shootings at Columbine High School.
How to Make an Online Memorial
Making an online memorial is an easy process. Follow our step by step guide and you’ll have a beautiful memorial set up in no time.
1. Visit Keeper Memorials
The first step is always the easiest. Simply click “Sign Up” to make a profile on Keeper Memorials. Add the name, date of birth, date of death and city of birth of your loved one, and you’re done. When you create a profile for a loved one you become their Keeper (i.e. administrator). You can also create a profile for yourself and assign your own Keeper. That way, in the eventuality of your death, your Keeper can take control of your profile.
2. Gather Photos
This is an important and cathartic step, one that can involve many friends and family members or done by yourself. Look through photo albums, social media profiles and ask friends to send you their treasured memories. Photographs can easily be scanned onto a computer and images from social media downloaded. For tips on how to collect photographs, you can refer to our handy guide.
TIP: Smartphone’s today have high quality cameras. To collect old printed photographs, simply snap a picture of it with your phone. Make sure you’re in a well-lit room!
3. Gather Documents
Remember that an online memorial is a genealogical gift you are giving. Gather records, old photographs, letters, citizenship documents, birth and death certificates and any documentation that speaks to aspects of the deceased’s life. This can all be very helpful when writing a biography, and can be scanned and added to any digital profile you are creating. Here again you should talk to family members and ask questions about the life and times of your loved one.
4. Upload All Photos, Documents and Stories
Now that you have your notes, documents and photographs ready, you can login to your Keeper account begin editing the profile. Keeper Memorials lets you write funeral service information, a comprehensive biography, a timeline of important dates (Milestones) and upload photographs and videos (Mementos). If you haven’t yet, start by uploading a profile picture of the deceased. Then gather your digitized photographs/documents and upload them to the Mementos section.
If the death is recent, then write out service information. You could then start writing out a biography and adding their personal Milestones. Remember that multiple people can become a person’s Keeper, so everyone can take part in writing out your loved one’s life story if you wish.
5. Share With Family and Friends
Now that you’ve uploaded pictures and taken the time to make an online memorial, it is time to share your work. Keeper Memorials lets you can create a public profile that can be shared on Facebook, Google+ or with family and friends only. Loved ones can leave condolence messages, comment on photographs and even add their own pictures!
Things to Consider When Making an Online Memorial
1. Don’t go at it Alone
Making an online memorial does not have to be completely done by a single person. It is important when writing a commemorative biography or collecting photographs to speak to others who were close to the deceased. Speaking to family, friends, coworkers or anyone close to the deceased, opens yourself up to finding new information and reconnecting with those we miss most. Research has shown that talking, sharing memories and keeping the deceased in mind and in conversation are important steps in the grieving process. Let other people help you create an online memorial and you’ll create a much richer biography.
In the sharing age, privacy is becoming very important. While online memorials are great ways for people to connect with loved ones, leave condolences and share memories, you may want to keep a profile private, and that is OK. A private profile remains hidden from public searches and other Keeper members, unless you share a private link with them. You can turn a profile public or private at any time.
Remember that an online memorial is a genealogical gift you are giving to future generations. Your loved ones are now available to you at a touch of a button. Making an online memorial is a great way to preserve the memories of those we love the most and let anyone visit to reconnect.