Wednesday, October 5, 2016

memorials are for remembering

By Karen Darby-Ritz, Advance Planning Manager, Camino del Sol Funeral Chapel and Cremation Center

In preparing my article I did what many of us do when faced with a task like writing an article− I Googled. I Googled memorialization.  All sorts of entries popped up. Good, I thought, a bunch of information to spark some ideas! According to there is little written about memorialization other than it is part of a healthy grieving process.

It made me think that we, as a society, want to remember or be remembered is a part of our very core. We record all parts of our history with stories, statues or memorials so we will not forget why an event or person is being paid tribute to. We also want to ensure that future generations have this knowledge too.

Socrates, the great ancient Greek philosopher, made reference to this idea when he spoke of education. He stated that the soul of each person on Earth is an infinite force that has roamed the earth forever and will continue to roam for eternity. Because of this, each soul knows everything there is to know.  So, the job of an earthly human, according to Socrates, is to learn to remember all his or her soul ever knew.  If you think about the English word remember; the prefix” re” means “again.” So to remember elicits that we always knew that person or fact.

Memorializing, then, is one of our core traditions. Throughout history memorials have been known to be quite special. It’s no secret that beauty and elegance have been keys to every memorial structure. Think of the pyramids in Egypt or the Lincoln Memorial in the US. (Even the simplest headstones or basic urns are designed to maintain their beauty through time.) These sites are visited by millions each year.  Why?  We want to remember. It’s that simple. As time went by, these sites not only were beautiful but began to take on a use. For instance, a library can be named after great-grandpa or a football arena is named after a family known to be generous with donations.   
We must also recognize that not all memorials are for the famous or rich. Most of us are here on earth, lived a good life, and mattered mostly to those that were a part of our lives or loved us dearly. So, our loved ones aren’t apt to erect a building in our honor, yet, no one would argue that everyone has the right to be memorialized by a simple yet special grave or niche marker.

If you’ve seen new ways to memorialize, please contact us at Trigard Memorials.  We love to share what we’ve learned from all of our friends.

This article originally appeared in Modern Memorialization, Trigard Memorials' weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at

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