digital estate memorial



An online memorial is a virtual space created on the Internet for the purpose of remembering, celebrating, or commemorating those who have died. An online memorial may be a one-page
HTML The HyperText Markup Language or HTML is the standard markup language for documents designed to be displayed in a web browser. It can be assisted by technologies such as Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and scripting languages such as JavaScript ...
webpage document giving the name of the deceased and a few words of tribute, an extensive information source, or be part of a social media platform where users can add their own words and photos. An example of an online memorial i
The COVID Memorial
which is a global memorial to commemorate all those who have lost their lives due to
COVID-19 Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a contagious disease caused by a virus, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The first known case was identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. The disease quick ...


A few individual online memorials started appearing on the Internet in the late 1990s. Many were websites created in response to the death of a person who was in the public eye, rather than for general members of the public. One example of this is the collective memorial website
Find a Grave Find a Grave is a website that allows the public to search and add to an online database of cemetery records. It is owned by Its stated mission is "to help people from all over the world work together to find, record and present fi ...
, which at that time was focused on publishing memorial information about famous people. Also during the 1990s, newspapers and funeral homes began contributing obituaries to permanent online databases. Online
cemeteries A cemetery, burial ground, gravesite or graveyard is a place where the remains of dead people are buried or otherwise interred. The word ''cemetery'' (from Greek , "sleeping place") implies that the land is specifically designated as a bur ...
, the first of which was launched in 1995 as the World Wide Cemetery (, also host online memorials. More recently there have been an increasing number of modern online memorial platforms launch. These platforms can provide online memorials and obituaries independently while also acting as a platform that powers the obituaries and tributes sections of major online newspapers. In 1997, Carla Sofka, Professor of Social Work, in her article 'Social support "Internetworks," caskets for sale, and more: Thanatology and the information superhighway', recognized the increasing use of this new form of memorialisation. Online memorials for public events, such as the one created by the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, also began to appear, allowing a collective response to events causing widespread grief. In the 2000s, with the development of social media platforms and simplified website creation software, the numbers of individual online memorials has increased rapidly. Online memorial databases such as Find a Grave have also opened up to allow contributions from individual users.

Benefits of online memorials

Online memorials allow participation in the grieving process from a distance and at any time of the day or night; in the view of some sociologists, such public displays of grief are important for emotional recovery after bereavement. They provide a communications outlet for continued grieving when more formal events have ended. Availability of inexpensive or free online space allows grievers to include extensive content such as stories and discussions. Unlike some other types of memorials, they have little environmental impact. Facebook can give people the opportunity to keep the deceased a part of their lives by posting on their walls during the holidays, birthdays, and other important dates in their lives or the bereaved life. Online memorials also give the bereaved the ability to pull up the deceased page and go through the comments or pictures when they are having a particularly difficult time and want to remember good memories they once shared with the deceased. Continuing bonds and expressing feelings toward the deceased can be considered therapeutic to the bereaved.

Memorial pages on social media

Many online memorial platforms, as well as individual memorials created on general social media sites and blogs, allow memorials to be built in a collaborative fashion by mourners, who share their expressions of grief in the form of comments or posts. Social media pages created by people who have later died are sometimes converted into memorial sites."Ashes to Ashes to. . .Vinyl? The Tech of the Afterlife"
''Carbon Culture Review''. By Marie Becker February 1, 2015
Facebook Facebook is an online social media and social networking service owned by American company Meta Platforms. Founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg with fellow Harvard College students and roommates Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Mosk ...
, for example, provides a process for transforming the profile of a deceased user into a memorial. Family members or friends can report an account to be memorialized upon presentation of proof of death. When the account is memorialized, Facebook removes sensitive information such as contact information and status updates, but still enables friends and family to leave posts on the profile wall in remembrance. However, only confirmed friends can see the memorialized profile or locate it in search.

Fundraising in memory

Online memorials are sometimes used to collect In Memoriam donations to charitable or non-profit organizations, to fund medical research, hospices, or community activities and hobbies in which the deceased participated.


{{DEFAULTSORT:Online Memorial Acknowledgements of death Technology websites