Bringing a Design-Forward Approach to Online Memorials
14 July, 2020
In my work as a designer of bespoke events--weddings and engagements, product launches, birthday bashes--I’ve had the good fortune to bring beauty and magic to many celebrations. And to be honest, until a few years ago, I never really thought about the space around mourning and grieving as a design opportunity. Like a lot of people, before the idea of it punched me in the stomach, I never gave it any attention at all.
But when I did have a family health crisis that suddenly brought mortality into the picture, I began looking around in the space, and I found myself asking the same question over and over again: in our design-forward culture, where personalization is everywhere and details matter so much, why has no designer turned an eye toward bettering one of our only truly universal life experiences?
At that moment, I had a very “Designer” thought. It was something like, “Death is sad. Does it have to be ugly, too?” That may sound irreverent, but I actually wondered, philosophically, do we need sad visual cues to help us with our grieving? I remember looking online at the few available places where you could make a memorial website or online obituary and feeling that I wouldn’t want to remember someone I loved in an outdated format with so little beauty. I envisioned something better.
Even though the death of someone we love is terribly sad, I don’t believe we want to remember them in a perpetually sad format. They were amazing, charming, funny, strong, sweet, quiet, crazy, kind, opinionated, or all of the above. They had style! No matter the circumstances of their passing (and I do not wish to minimize the trauma of a difficult death), we want to cherish our loved one and celebrate their beautiful life, beautifully. I decided to try to be that designer who would apply the principles of great design to an underserved but very worthy area of our human journey.
So when we launched Farewelling, one of the first elements we wanted to re-envision was the online memorial website. We wanted beautiful modern templates to express individuality and spirit. We wanted color. We wanted great fonts! We dreamed of bringing online memorials up to the same level as gorgeous wedding websites or lovely party invitations.
And I’m happy to announce, we’ve brought that dream to life with the launch of our one-of-a-kind online memorial website tool. If you’re honoring someone who has just passed, you can easily create a gorgeous and free memorial website where you can share stories, photos, and details of any services or events you might be hosting, whether IRL, virtual or some combination of the two. You can even let folks know if you’ve set up a fund for donations or if you’ll accept flowers.
We’ve added some helpful features to let you personalize your memorial website. If you just want to make an online memorial for someone you love, no matter when they passed, you can turn off the events toggle with one click and use all the other features. You can take your link and make it private or searchable and you can share it across whatever platforms you like.
The memorial website tool we’ve created here is just a start, and there will be so much more to come, with upgraded templates and all kinds of bells and whistles. We’re very proud of it and we hope you’ll let us know what you think or if we can help you in any way. We’re taking requests, so feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
If you need help with planning, we have some handy free checklists and worksheets you can use.
Same’s true if you’d like help from a Farewelling Concierge. We can tailor services to whatever you need. Just email us at email@example.com and we’ll get right back to you.