SympathyTree not only allows users to create a memorial site, but also to engage in dialog with family in friends about their loved one's life. Users can log in anytime from anywhere in the world to share memories and stories, upload their own photos of the deceased, and offer support to each other.
I spoke with Louise Zweben, CEO of SympathyTree to find out why someone would want to use Sympathy Tree to create a memorial. Louise recalled a time when she lost a friend who was living in Scotland. Louise, who is from Scotland and currently resides in California, felt that she was "not able to be a part of the grieving community". This site can bring friends and family together from anywhere in the world to grieve the loss of a loved one.
The user creates a site using web 2.0 technology in four steps. Family and friends emails can be uploaded from an existing address book or entered individually and within minutes they are notified of memorial events. Friends and family can then upload their own pictures, memories, or words of condolence. They can also send flowers or donate to a preferred charity picked by the site creator.
In addition to the online memorials, SympathyTree offers a resource guide. The guide covers topics from funeral planning to grieving.
I thought a site offering these resources would cost a pretty penny and it certainly isn't cheap. After a two week trial, during which users can create the site, they have the option of sharing it with others for one year for $95. After the first year, user have the option to renew annually and keep the site online as long as they wish. But, I must say that while it isn't cheap, it's a small price to pay to bring family and friends together to remember their lost loved one. I hope I won't have to use this site anytime soon but I'll certainly remember that it's there.
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