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Online Funerals: How Technology Has Reshaped Tradition

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We shop, talk to friends and pay bills online. The Internet is a part of everything we do, even how we express our feelings. It's common to scroll through Facebook and see a happy or sad status. People share their lives in short, but public, posts.  

Technology and social media has also sparked innovation in the funeral industry.

 Now people can honor their loved ones outside of a funeral home or cemetery. ABC News reported online funerals as a growing trend in 2007 as people shared videos, photos and created pages dedicated to loved ones’ lives. The possibilities continue to grow.

Continue reading as we follow the rise of online funerals, and how technology has reshaped tradition.  

Live Streaming

You’ve probably seen celebrities and public figures broadcast their funerals online. Big names like Maya Angelou and Nancy Reagan had live streams available for the public to view.

It’s not just celebrities though. This option is available for the general public too. It’s often done through a third-party provider that specializes in live-streaming events. Providers can be found through a quick Google search, and prices vary depending on your specific needs.

More than just a novelty, live streaming offers conveniences. For those who can’t attend a funeral for health restrictions or who live far away, live streaming allows them to experience the service and honor their loved ones.

Online Memorials

Obituaries used to only be found in the printed newspaper, but that’s no longer the case. Many newspapers have transitioned to online-only offerings. Funeral homes also post obituaries on their websites as another way for people to honor the memory of their loved ones.

There are companies dedicated to hosting an online obituary for your loved one. These platforms let you share stories publicly and preserve memories. Here are two examples:

  • Legacy.com provides families a place to upload the story of a life well lived. Legacy.com believes that these stories can serve as inspiration and help with the grieving process. They partner with newspapers all over the world to share the stories of the deceased.
  • Tributes.com serves as a place to post a permanent online memorial. It’s a community where friends and family can gather online to grieve and support one another during a tough time. People share photos and stories in a forum-like format whenever they want.

If online memorials are important to you and your family, talk to your funeral director about their online obituaries. Some funeral homes even offer interactive options. For example, in addition to reading the obituary, you can view a photo gallery or listen to the person’s favorite song.

Online memorials have a presence on social media, too. Many people share their news on Facebook, including a loved one’s death. Friends can publicly offer their condolences. You can also set up a private Facebook Page and invite specific people to join and post photos, videos and stories. 

These online communities serve as a way for people to continue to grieve beyond the funeral.

Preplanning Your Online Funeral

These online funeral options are best planned ahead of time. There are many options to consider when organizing an online memorial, and it can take time to make decisions and incorporate everything you want.

Preplan to give you and your loved ones peace of mind. You can be confident that your final wishes will be met, and your family won’t have to stress over making the right decisions.

Download our free ebook the Seniors’ Guide to Funeral Arrangements for more helpful information on how preplanning can save time, money and worry.

Funeral Preplanning Financial Guide

Image Credit: Quinn Dombrowski via Flickr


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