For many who have lost loved ones, attending the funeral or visiting a cemetery is not always possible. They might live too far away, dread showing emotion in public or find the death and funeral experience too difficult.
Online living memorial sites have become very popular in recent years as they allow a grieving community to remember and celebrate a life lost, wherever they are and whenever they wish. They can be private memorial sites, or a way of sharing memories with family, friends and the community.
Living memorial sites consist of tribute pages hosted on special websites. They are set up so that families can remember lost loved ones. They can be simply a one- page HTML webpage document giving the name of the deceased and a few words of tribute, through to a fully functioning website designed to celebrate, commemorate and remember someone’s life in its entirety.
Content typically includes multiple photos in a gallery or slideshow plus chosen music and videos uploaded along with memories and stories from friends and family.
A common feature is the acceptance of thoughts or candles, often by visiting strangers to the memorial, offering their condolences and support to the grieving party. There can be a timeline which charts a person's life and a family tree to display their links with ancestors and descendants.
There may even be a blog or journal which provides a record of emotions and feelings felt during the period of bereavement.