Given that today’s economic crises are creating difficulties for even close family and friends who want to be at funerals and memorials, it makes sense that they should be able to memorialize their loved and lost ones on line. There are pros and cons and responsibilities for setting up online memorials, of course, but this form of expressing loss and of remembering the departed one should never be the source of criticism or complaint.
The main responsibilities of the person or group who is setting up the memorial include setting up a working site or page, monitoring or screening the inputs of others, and acknowledging those who have contributed their presence online. Screening inputs is essential for keeping the sick and dysfunctional from intruding with problematic nonsense, but also is a tricky process where actual friends and family may have some difficult emotions or memories to express. Much consideration must be made to allow people to express themselves and to contribute to the life story of a person without causing disruption or even more sorrow.
The pros are fairly clear. Those who cannot come in person will be helped through their grief by having any connection to the others n the family or group. Individuals can take time to compose and write contributions that can even include photos or video clips. This builds wonderful multimedia and anecdotal life stories over time.
Those who do not hear of the passing for quite some time can be allowed to give their condolences and contributions for a long time after the services have been conducted.
The memorials can be visited again and again and the memorials can grow over time. It might take months for a friend, former co-worker or family member to dig out old photos and videos, or to compose something that is a wonderful and loving contribution.
The memorials can be permanently available, but can either be closed to further input, or have belated inputs screened and added after review. This makes the memorial into a far more comprehensive life history and biography of the deceased than any newspaper or funeral program can provide.
As a result, the only “con” is handled by setting up the inputs for screening and approval and by regularly monitoring and maintaining the memorial over a longer period of time. In this sense, someone who wants to know more of the history of the deceased could take on the task.
The pros offer a much larger group of people to remember the deceased, to add to their life story and to offer photos and videos that would otherwise have been lost for good!