But now thousands of grieving spouses, parents and grandparents are finding an unlikely source of comfort – their home computer.
They are turning to tribute pages on special websites, set up so families can remember lost loved ones. These increasingly popular cyber sites allow you to record your thoughts, display photos, play videos and listen to your chosen music. They can be private, or a way of sharing memories with friends and family. And you can visit your own memorial any time.
Bereavement service manager Nikki Archer, who works at St Giles Hospice in Lichfield believes tribute websites will soon become more widespread.
Bereavement experts advise
The blossoming of memorial websites is a relatively new phenomenon. "I think there were two things that happened," says Jonathan Davies, who founded memorial site Much Loved."The death of Diana brought about a change in how we grieve publicly, and then the internet connected people and provided a place for it. Does it say something about us as a society, that something so private as grief is now often done so publicly? "I do think grief is becoming embraced more by communities – by that I mean people outside the immediate family. I remember in the mid-90s, when my brother died, people would ignore us because they didn't know what to say. That's beginning to change now."