How to memorialize someone on social media

Guest article by Charlotte Meier of for Cherry Carson Church.

When a loved one passes, finding a way to honor their memory isn’t always easy. Often, memorializing someone on social media can be an ideal choice. It’s an easy way to reach family and friends, as well as engage in discussions that celebrate the person’s life. You can pass along information about the social media memorial by reaching out to your social circles, as well as those your family knows, including past classmates.

Social media can make memorializing a loved one in a thoughtful, artful way easier. If you want to honor someone on social media the proper way, this is what you need to do.

Using the Right Account Option

In most cases, you have a few choices when it comes to the account you can use as a memorial. Here are some of the most common approaches.

Complete a Memorialization Request

You can memorialize accounts on both Facebook and Instagram. That moves the profile into a special status, altering how it’s presented on the platform and who has access.

Once the account is memorialized, only current “friends” or “followers” can view the pages, make comments, or otherwise engage with the profile. With this approach on Facebook, you can post on the person’s timeline, giving you a clear space to announce their passing to all of their existing connections.

Twitter doesn’t offer memorialized accounts yet. YouTube doesn’t have an option available either, though Google may be able to provide some data from the person’s account if there’s an Inactive Account Manager or under specific circumstances. With TikTok, the only way to take any action is to delete an account, and that requires the account password.

Create a Tribute Group or Page

If you don’t want to rely on the person’s page to memorialize their life, you can create a new tribute Facebook group or page in their honor. With this approach, you can choose whether the page is public or private, as well as if you want it to be invitation-only.

Start a New Account

On social media platforms other than Facebook, the easiest option is to create a new account. With that approach, you maintain complete control over posting rights and similar account management features. As a result, you can create one specifically to function as a memorial, allowing or restricting access as you deem appropriate.

Create the Memorial Post

After someone passes, you usually want the first post you create about their passing to be special. Ideally, you want to spend a little time crafting the post, ensuring it expresses precisely what you want and shows your loved one in the best light. You also don’t want to violate any customs, beliefs, or social conventions.

Picking a Photo

Often, you want to begin with a strong image of the person. A child memorializing a parent may wish to use a photo from their childhood showing the two of them together. For military members, veterans, police officers, firefighters, or others whose service was a big part of their life, their work portraits might be a better fit.

However, a simple portrait can also be an ideal option. It’s a classic choice, so feel free to simply choose a photo that you think captures their spirit.

Writing the Post

When you write the post, don’t be afraid to express your feelings. It’s an emotional time, so it’s perfectly appropriate to discuss feelings of sadness and loss.

Just make sure that you keep the memorialized person as the focus of the conversation. Talk about how they impacted you and what made them amazing.

Additionally, feel free to mention any needs or plans that may be underway. For example, if you want to request some level of privacy during a difficult time, that’s fine. If you’d like to share details about any upcoming services, you can do that as well.

Try to keep everything to a simple paragraph or two. That way, the post is heartfelt but concise. Then, you can always share more as you engage with others on the memorial post or page in the following days.

Bonus Tip: Tending to the Loved One’s Home

When a person passes, the probate process usually begins. Selling a home in probate can be a complex task. If you’re responsible for handling the property, work with a realtor that’s well-versed in probate sales. That way, you’ll have an expert by your side who can assist you during this difficult time.

Image via Pexels

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