How to Create a Meaningful Online Memorial

Published April 10, 2020
Woman on laptop

Learn how to create a meaningful presence for your online memorial to honor your loved one. You can plan your memorial to include photos, stories and videos for a personalized online service.

Set Up a Funeral Home Online Memorial Page

Many funeral homes offer online memorial pages as well as services. If you're stuck at home and can't attend the funeral, the next best thing is to set up an online memorial on the funeral home's website. Many funeral homes include the memorial page as a feature to the funeral service or memorial service, so check to see what is available with and without the funeral service.

Where to Find Hosts for Memorial Pages

If your funeral home doesn't feature an online memorial page or if it is too limited for what you wish to create, you can contact websites that cater to only memorial pages. Some offer a range of templates and unlimited storage, while others are limited to storage space per user.

  • Virtual Memorial charges a one-time $55 fee.
  • Forever Missed offers both free and premium plans ($6.00/month, $64.99/annual or $124.99/lifetime.)
  • Memories features memories, timeline and slideshow pages a one-time $90 fee.
  • offers three packages, free, legacy ($19.95) and Legacy ($79.99).

Your Online Memorial Page Options

An online memorial page isn't a service, but a tribute to the deceased and should reflect this purpose. Some pages with funeral homes allow guests to light a digital candle in honor of the deceased along with a guestbook where they can leave a comment, share stories, write a poem, and upload photos. Website dedicated to memorials often feature more options.

How to Organize Your Online Memorial Page

A memorial should be a celebration of the life of your deceased loved one. You can write about your family or friend and the things they loved to do, how they lived their life and their career(s).

Start With a Title

You can start your online memorial page with a meaningful title. Aside from the typical titles your loved one wore, such as wife, husband, daughter, son, mother, father, etc., you might try to use a title that summarizes the type of person they were. With this approach, you want to make each word count, so choose only those words that best describe your loved one. A few examples include:

  • Jane Doe, a Life Spent in Song
  • John Smith, a Poet at Heart
  • Jane Smith, a Light Bearer of Hope and Faith
  • John Doe, Always a Friend to Everyone He Met
  • Fred Smith, Forever in Our Hearts
  • Mary Smith, Animal Lover Forever

Describe Your Loved One With an Introduction

Once you have the title of your memorial page, you want to introduce your deceased love one. You want to make this introduction personal to let your loved one's spirit shine through your words. You can do this very easily when you speak from your heart. For example, if your loved one was John Smith, a Poet at Heart, then say a little about how he wrote his first poem. You can then include your favorite poem the two of you shared or a poem he wrote just for you.

Brief Biography

Once you've written a short introduction, you can give a brief biography. This should describe some of your loved one's accomplishments, career, charities they supported/volunteered, obstacles they overcame, and other life events. This can include more personal details than a traditional obituary.

Memorial Themes for Your Tribute

There are all kinds of themes you can use to create your online memorial, such as the deceased's ancestry. You may decide a life's passion, such as art, makes a great memorial theme for an artist or a car mechanic theme might be vintage cars or a favorite make of automobile. Whatever theme you decide to use, make sure it reflect the deceased's passion and overall life. Add this theme through the language you use and the graphics presented on the website in order to tie it all together.

Other Ways to Make Your Online Memorial Special

There are other ways you can make your online memorial special. Choose colors, a background, graphics and other page features that reflect your loved one's favorite colors, season, holidays, and various personal likes and dislikes.

man working on his computer

Add Photos, Stories and Videos

Depending on the amount of storage space you have for your memorial page(s), you can upload a few of your favorite photos of your loved one. Write a short description or story about the photo, such as when and where it was taken, the occasion and who is in the photo and their relationship to the deceased. Use free editing tools to add emojis, frames and other enhancements to your photos to make them extra special. You can also upload short clips of home videos.

Poetry, Songs and Philosophies

You may decide to include the deceased's favorite saying or poem. If your loved one followed a specific philosophy, include how it affected their life and life choices. Use your imagination to make your online memorial pages personal by honoring the deceased.

  • You may decide to compose your own soulful poem or upload one that expresses your feelings.
  • You can include your loved one's favorite song, along with the lyrics encased in a beautiful graphic on the page.
  • Song writers, musicians and singers often personalize memorials by dedicating a brief rendition of the deceased's favorite song or music from their funeral.
  • For an artist, you may decide to create a painting to honor them by expressing how they made you feel special and loved.

Donate Proceeds to a Charity Through Memorial Pages

Many families create physical reminders of their loved one through shirts, car decals, and magnets on various websites, and donate the proceeds to the deceased's favorite charity. For example, you can link to a Café Press memorial page that you upload photos, drawing and other mementos of your loved one. Those who visit the memorial page can follow the link to order one of these mementos, such as a t-shirt or coffee mug, and take a photo of themselves with it to upload onto the memorial page.

  • Offer words from a poem or a drawing of your loved one.
  • Choose items that the deceased would have like for displaying a poem, photo or graphic design.
  • You can sell these at cost or set a profit margin so you can donate the money to the deceased's favorite charity.
  • Be sure to let guests know about the charity benefiting from the sales on the memorial page.

Ways to Direct Friends and Family to Memorial Pages

There are several ways you can provide the link to your memorial page(s) to friends and family. You can send a simple text message that states, "This link will take you to a memorial page for Dad." You may prefer to create a graphic memorial page announcement and send it via an email with the link.

man touching share icon on smart phone

Create an Announcement Video

You can create a video message and send to each cellphone. This can be a short video message to alert everyone that you've created the online memorial and include the link. Be sure to ask them to upload a favorite photo, story about your loved one, and anything else you wish them to know before going to the memorial page.

Send Your Memorial Page Link Via Social Media

For those family members and friends, you're connected with through a social media outlet, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other venues, you can post information with the link to your memorial page. You may choose to do a Facebook live stream to announce the memorial page you created. You could play a song in the background or sing a song. Be creative in how you present friends and family the information and page link.

Exploring How to Create a Meaningful and Special Online Memorial

Before you start working an online memorial, you want to explore the various venues available. Plan out what you want to include and what features you need from the host website to ensure you end up with a meaningful and special tribute to your loved one.

How to Create a Meaningful Online Memorial