4 Social Memorial Websites That Went Viral (And Why)

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These days, there isn’t much that you can’t do online, and grieving is no exception. In fact, more and more people every day find comfort in grieving online – whether it’s discussing their favorite memories about the loved one, visiting the loved one’s Facebook page, or posting their condolences to the family –  it’s become a trend on the rise.

That’s why social memorial websites are more important than ever. In case you’re not sure what a social memorial website is, it’s an obituary, Facebook wall, photo album, guestbook, family tree, flower shop and memorial, all in one.

Since we first introduced social memorial websites less than five years ago, we’ve watched as they’ve empowered family, friends and acquaintances to come together online—anytime and from anywhere—to honor and pay tribute to the life lived.

With that being said, here are four viral social memorial websites out there… and what we can learn from them:

#1: Harry Stamps (Bradford O’Keefe Funeral Home)

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When Bradford-O’Keefe  published Harry Stamps’ obituary on their website, they had no idea how much of a response it would get in the following weeks, days and months.  Harry Stamps’ daughter wrote his hilarious obituary and it went viral as people worldwide responded to his heartfelt and humorous tribute. To this day, his social memorial website has received 16,046 Facebook likes, 1,422 condolence messages, 1,436 candles lit in memory of him, and 46 virtual gifts!

Why it went viral: In a world where obituaries are usually 150 words long and only state the standard service information, Harry Stamps’ obituary was a hilarious and authentic story that captured his life the way he would have liked. The lesson? Never underestimate the power of humor.  Check out Harry’s amazing obituary here.


#2: Nicholas Natale (Coral Springs Funeral Home)

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What happens when an active person in your local community passes away? People from all over the community and even the country come together to make sure that they are remembered in the best way possible. That’s why Nicholas Natale’s social memorial website, received over 200 Facebook likes, 100 posts and 35,000 visits in a very short amount of time. His community pitched in and made sure his social memorial website was filled with photos, memories, videos, and candles lit in honor of his life. Talk about community support!

Why it went viral: Nicholas’s social memorial website goes to show that the more you put in, the more you get out. The activity on his tribute wall inspired people from all over to take part, too. This can teach us that the more you encourage your families and community to be active on the loved one’s social memorial website, the more activity you’ll get.


#3: Peter Hans Mueller (McComb & Wagner Family Funeral Home and Crematory)

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The reason we love this particular social memorial website so much is because Peter requested that a poem be put in place of his obituary. The poem, titled “Eternal Goodness”, is a beautiful way to let someone be remembered:

Why it went viral: From all the posts on his tribute wall, it seems that Peter’s tribute video is what attracted visitors and inspired them to post on and share his social memorial website. This is a nice reminder of how valuable a great tribute video really can be. Check out his tribute video here.

#4: Benjamin Andrew Wheeler (B.C. Bailey Funeral Home)

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With hundreds of comments, nearly 400 Facebook shares, and thousands of candles lit in his honor, it’s safe to say that Benjamin Wheeler’s social memorial website embodies the word viral. Benjamin was killed in the tragic Sandy Hook event that made national headlines, and there’s a reason people went to his tribute wall to honor his life, and not just Facebook or obituary websites like Legacy.com.

Why it went viral: B.C. Bailey Funeral Home became active in their community during the Sandy Hook shooting by hosting fundraisers for victims like Benjamin. By being active offline, they were able to create fans and supporters online. The lesson? Support your communities in any way you can, whether it’s online or offline, because that’s how you create raving fans who will return to your site time and time again.


Does your funeral home empower visitors to grieve and heal online?

To find out how you can incorporate social memorials into your funeral home’s website, request a demo with one of our website specialists by clicking here or give us a call at 800-798-2575, ext. 5


What’s your favorite social memorial website of all time? Tell us in the comments below!

Joe Joachim

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