How to Memorialize a Loved One Virtually
The coronavirus pandemic has affected everyone and provided challenges we’ve never had to deal with before. One heartbreaking result is not being able to traditionally gather and grieve together at the funeral of a loved one.
Many people believe that the most significant thing to them about mourning a loved one at a funeral is to join in remembrance with friends and family. Coming together to celebrate the life of someone lost can help us share in our grief and begin the road to healing.
What do you do when you can’t gather for a funeral? Many virtual options offer a way to come together to honor the life of a loved one gone. Here are four ways to gather virtually for funerals and memorials.
If you’re unable to gather for a funeral, webcasting is an ideal option for sharing in the service when many cannot attend. Funeral webcasting is very simple, the family can stream a service online and invite all their friends and family around the world to join in from the comfort of their homes. We provide this service to families in either of our chapels.
- Video Conferencing
Video conferencing is a great way to meetup online with loved ones to plan a funeral, to bond after the service, or offer a more informal memorial atmosphere to friends and family. Zoom is a popular platform, but there are many others to try such as Skype and Google Hangouts. Most free versions allow at least 50 people to attend the meeting, and some platforms allow you to record it and save it.
- Funeral Website Memorials
The funeral home you choose may offer this service. Legacy.com is one such funeral website memorial that allows families to post comments and remember moments in the life of the deceased. These memorials combine stories, photos, and more in a unique way to celebrate the life of your loved one. It also allows for friends and family to upload photos, sign a guest book, and add their own personal stories about the deceased. This type of remembrance can stay up long after the funeral and offer solace to those left behind.
- Social Media Memorials
Sharing memories at a funeral gathering can be a healing part of the service, but without an in-person community experience this can be a challenge. We can now re-create this shared experience through social media tribute walls and social memorial websites, essentially permanent online living tributes.
One free way to do this is create a Facebook group honoring your loved one. Visitors can share memories, engage, post photos and videos, and keep the conversation going. Other online memorial websites can be free or come with a fee. These sites can offer your community additional options such as lighting a candle for the loved one and even purchasing flowers and gifts for the family. With either option you can create conversation starters with visitors about the deceased like these: What is your favorite memory? What is the thing you remember most? What is a funny story? What was the most important thing you learned from them?
In times of crisis, it’s hard to think about anything besides meeting essential needs in our lives but coming together as a community when a loved one dies is essential to the grieving process. Creating virtual funeral rituals and ceremonies offer us a way to connect and grieve in a time when it’s not possible to gather in person. In times of loss, we need these now more than ever.