other memorial options

The comment by contributor Deb Edwards about our recent post on visiting your spouse/partner’s gravesite got us thinking.

Deb wrote, “My husband was cremated and his ashes scattered at sea, so "visiting" him is not an option, but not something I would be inclined to do. I have made my own rituals and memorials which included planting a tree and installing a plaque in his memory. It is in the town where we lived and I do go there from time to time. I also have done some things in the house, including a collage of his life. The memories of my husband are in my heart and my mind-I don't need to go anywhere to 'see' him or talk to him-he is with me all the time.”

In addition to a traditional gravesite or virtual memorial (see our last post), or what Deb chose, here are some ways to memorialize your late spouse/partner:

-Make a donation to a special charity in your partner’s name.

-Establish a scholarship or grant in your partner’s name.

-Scatter your partner’s ashes in a location(s) that holds special meaning for you.

-Create a Memory Book, which is especially helpful for children.

-Create a “memorial event”, such as a community contest or race that reflects your partner’s interests. Enlisting the support of local businesses is a great way to finance and/or promote these events.

Any other memorial ideas you’ve come up with? Please share them with us.


an overview of some online memorial websites

We noticed that GriefNet.org has a page on its site about creating a free online memorial website. Having heard about these “virtual” tributes to deceased loved ones, we thought we’d explore a little further.

We looked into some of these online services: Virtual Memorials (the one GriefNet offers) and Remembered Forever.

All of these sites help you create a webpage with its own online address that memorializes your late spouse/partner. In addition to written tributes and photos, you can have visitors to the site leave their own remembrances and/or condolences in an online guestbook. Music, speech, and video clips can also be uploaded (for specific options, visit the homepages of these sites.)

You also have the option of either sharing your memorial website with everyone or keeping visitors limited to only those to whom you’ve given a confidential password.

Although all of these memorial sites is initially free, they all have a “trial” period of anywhere from 5 days to 2 weeks before you’re asked to pay a one-time fee (ranging from $59 - $98) to maintain the website. While Virtual Memorials and Remembered Forever promise to donate a portion of this fee to charities, only Virtual Memorials will keep the text (only), if you chose not to pay the fee.

These sites will also feature your loved one’s photo and date of death every year on the anniversary of the occasion. Most also offer a hard copy “memory book” as another option.

This sort of memorial may not appeal to everyone, but in this technological age, it’s an option worth exploring.

Let us know if you or someone you know has used one of these online services.