07 May 2015

A Personal FindAGrave Suggestion

FindAGrave memorials for immediate family members can be a sensitive area.

There are people, some with good intentions, who create memorials for deceased people upon seeing their obituary or death notice in the newspaper. They've never been to the cemetery to take a picture of their stone (which may or may not even be erected by the time the person dies) and they create a memorial page for that person based upon the information in the obituary.

This post isn't about whether obituaries are correct and can contain errors or whether the practice of posting memorials before the burial should be allowed. I don't edit or proofread every obituary published and I don't run FindAGrave.

Sometimes the creators of these memorials readily transfer them to immediate family members in a very gracious fashion and sometimes they don't. I also do not control the creators of those memorials nor do I control the transfer process.

That's not what this post is about.

This post is about the early bird getting the worm and about how different people handle grief differently. And it's okay to handle grief differently and it's okay to not use the approach to FindAGrave that I did.

I created a FindAGrave memorial for my mother within hours of her passing. Yes, within hours. In fact, it was what I did shortly after I made the phone calls to necessary relatives. Some may find creating the memorial the day she died morbid. I didn't. I found it somewhat therapeutic as it was a way of telling people she had passed without having to express it verbally. Sometimes that is easier.

When initially creating the memorial, I only entered in the date and place of her birth and death and the location of her burial. Just enough to "create" it. The funeral date had not been set and her obituary had not yet been written. Of course she hadn't even been buried yet, but we knew where that was going to be. I left the rest of the memorial blank, largely because I wasn't quite ready to write that part of it.

So here's a suggestion for those who have family members who may pass.

I realize that creating a FindAGrave memorial the day a relative passes is not something everyone can do. That's ok.

But the early bird does get the worm.

If you are concerned that "someone else" may create a memorial for your family member, consider this:
Find a genealogical friend or relative that you trust and ask them to create a FindAGrave memorial for you when your relative dies. That friend or relative can transfer the memorial to you when you are ready. At that point you can add to it or change or modify information as necessary. All you'll have to do to get it started is to let the friend or relative know when your loved one has passed. You may even offer to do the same service for your friend

You'll just have to tell the person about the passing before death notices or other information has been posted online or in the newspaper.

Or, if you think you can do it...creating the memorial yourself is always an option.