By Terri Saeed —
A hope chest filled with a wedding dress from 1940, countless photo albums, a high school scrapbook from 1931, a memory book with witty quotations from depression era teenagers, college transcripts, baby booties and more. The contents of the chest represented over nine decades of memories. What do we do now? How can we possibly divvy up the contents of a life? How will we keep Grandma’s legacy alive?
This was the challenge we faced as we went through the most personal of my grandmother’s belongings after her death. One family member was going to become the caretaker of all these memories. Who would it be? We searched for an answer and found an alternative to storing all those memories in someone’s basement. The answer was simple, create a memorial website to digitally store Grandma’s most precious things.
Memorial websites provide an excellent way to preserve memories and celebrate a life. They are a collection of web pages that contain a biography, photos, video and audio files for all friends and family members to enjoy. Each memorial is unique and can be personalized with background templates that represent the personality of our loved ones.
My experience creating a memorial for my grandmother made me appreciate her even more than I already did. Being the eldest grandchild, I was able to spend more time with her, but still learned many things about her life that I didn’t know. For instance, she waited 7 long years to marry my grandfather. They met when carpooling to high school together in rural South Dakota and fell in love. My grandfather was destined to be a minister and had 4 years of college and 3 years of seminary ahead of him. Since seminary students weren’t allowed to marry, they had to court long distance until his graduation. That’s what I call true love!
On her memorial website, I included pages from her high school scrapbook (imagine Grandma as a teenager!), her amazing dill pickle recipe, photos from throughout her life and my grandfather’s loving tribute to her captured on video at her 90th birthday party. Thanks to the internet and the emergence of online memorial websites, these memories will be available forever. Friends and family members from around the world can now share their remembrances by adding personal tributes and stories or just clicking in and leaving a flower in her memory.
I sincerely miss that I can’t pick up the phone and talk to Grandma about her garden or ask her why my pickles are too salty compared to hers. But I do find solace in the fact that we all have a place where we can go to visit Grandma from wherever we are and that my children will be able to show their children who this wonderful person was too.
Terri Saeed is Founder of Memorial2u.com, a permanent online memorial website to honor loved ones with life stories, photos, video and audio files. Memorial2U was founded to give everyday people a way to preserve a lifetime of memories for generations to come. Our vision was to create an interface that was so easy to use, that anyone familiar with the internet would be able to assemble an elegant memorial keepsake for a loved one.Tags: belongings, funerals, money, grief, hope