Alternative to and obituaries?
January 16, 2014 1:57 PM   Subscribe

I am helping to make arrangements after the death of a relative. I find the format and style of the "memorial websites" at to be tacky and - more important - deeply unreflective of his sense for design, his rejection of religion and overall un-sentimentality. We can do a newspaper obituaries, but they're also overpriced (starting around $300 for anything of decent size) and over-sentimental and there does need to be some kind of on-line statement of his passing. (Don't get me started on the vulture-hyenas at funeral homes; he asked for a Neptune Society cremation, which was a huge relief.)

Are there any worthwhile alternatives to consider (short of setting up our own site)? What did you do in similar situation?
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy to Grab Bag (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
posted by luckynerd at 2:16 PM on January 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

A friend of mine in a similar situation set up a custom blog for memory sharing and logistics leading up to the memorial, and collaborated with other friends/family members to write an obituary that was longer and more meaningful than the typical type. That obituary was then posted both on the blog and on other web sites for places with meaning to the deceased. (Workplace, professional association, blog for the last neighborhood he lived in, etc). She also left his facebook page open as a memorial; there's a special memorial page setting for just that purpose. Don't know if that's an option in your case.

The blog came down shortly after the memorial, but the obituary is still up on all the specific pages. I was one of the people who helped to distribute the obit; memail me if you want to know more about the process.
posted by ActionPopulated at 2:23 PM on January 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

I am sorry for your loss, randlepatrickmcmurphy.

Forever Missed is an alternative - I've seen it used, but have not created a memorial on it myself. It looks like a basic format is free, but there are "premium" options available (for a fee).
posted by raztaj at 2:58 PM on January 16, 2014

When my ex-mother-in-law passed away recently, I was thunderstruck at the cost of an obituary in the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. She lived in Tucson for over half a century, had friends all over the city she hadn't seen in several years due to her failing health - friends who would like to know of her passing. And, to me, she deserved the honor of having a paragraph or two in the paper about her life since so much of it had been spent in the community. For instance, she worked for years as the cook at a shelter for abused and neglected children - Casa de los Ninos - and everyone loved her and she absolutely cherished those kids. How is it that a simple obituary for a good and kind woman is so expensive that no one in the family can afford it due to so many (outrageous) expenses to do with a person's death?

It's the vulture business again, obviously. What better time to hit someone up for lotsa money than when they're in the grieving process for someone they love dearly?

I detest exploitation and greed, especially when directed at the vulnerable.

Oddly enough, when my own mother passed in 2002, I put a paragraph-long obituary in the same newspaper and it didn't cost anywhere near what they want now - no comparison. I wonder how much of the new dollar amount is the result of's involvement.
posted by aryma at 4:06 PM on January 16, 2014

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