Utah Stories

theMemories: Everyone has a Story

theMemories, a new online version of the obituary paves the way for families to honor their loved one in a way that truly tells their story.


theMemories online version of the obituary
Photos courtesy of theMemories

Everyone has a story. It’s that dash, sandwiched between the day you are born and the day you die that that represents your life. Your life is a story that is more than just a list of random facts but one that honors who you were during that dash.

Most of us have experienced the death of a loved one. However, not all of us have had to write a traditional obituary. If you have, you quickly learn that not only is it difficult emotionally but also challenging to compress your memories into the standard 18-22 characters per line (including spaces) not to mention the cost.

An average obituary run in the Salt Lake Tribune costs around $375 which breaks down to $4 per line. The New York Times charges $50 per line. As John Rasmuson wrote in a 2007 article in City Weekly, “to write ‘died suddenly’ or ‘died unexpectedly’ is going to cost you $10 just for the useless adverb.” When you look at it that way, it seems downright ridiculous, talk about kicking someone while they are down.

For many people, their dearly departed took preemptive measures and planned their funeral allowing and prepaying for the cost of the obituary. However, for those that did not, for whatever reason, their loved ones are oftentimes caught off guard with the high price tag. That’s where theMemories, a new online version of the obituary paves the way for families to honor their loved one in a way that truly tells their story.

Eric Bright, theMemories online version of the obituary
Eric Bright

Eric Bright with theMemories explained that in 2012 some form of the word obituary consistently found itself in the top 10 Google searches. That trend hasn’t changed much over the last few years. TheMemories, owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and operated by their for-profit subsidiary, Desert Digital Media is largely responsible for changing the future of honoring your loved ones by reducing the fee to an all-inclusive $95.

To post an online obituary for your family member you must show proof of death, and if you can’t, the organization is partnered with many funeral homes across the Wasatch front who can validate the death. It may sound bizarre that you need to prove your loved one has passed away but humans are sometimes not so forthright. Bright explained that these measures are in place to protect the living from fraud and “so far, thankfully, there are no abusers of the product.”

He went on to explain that once in a while they will have an obituary that is flagged for content; yet after Bright’s team researches the claim it is most often a member of a broken family. Bright explained that the organization never wants to play judge and jury over a family but encourages them to reach an agreement on how they honor their loved one. Sometimes, the family can reconcile their differences through this process.

theMemories online version of the obituary

By utilizing theMemories platform you can have as many lines of text as you choose, hundreds of photos instead of the typical one or two, you can add to the timeline indefinitely, loved ones can write in the online guest book, and share your listing on Facebook.

Currently, due to coronavirus theMemories have made all life stories free to post.

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