This week the 100,000th online Remembrance Page was created on the uniquely New Zealand website www.amemorytree.co.nz. What makes this special is that all pages created, were done so for free and gifted to the friends and families of the deceased by a Christchurch woman following her own loss.
Site creator and managing director, Sue Skeet, says that giving is the essence of site and to be able to gift its 100,000th page for others to record their memories, messages and condolences is a significant milestone not only for her personally but also the wider community.
“It’s really important for us to provide a place where it costs nothing to leave a message of support or share a fond memory and the site has been developed to ensure access for all is possible.
“At any time we have over 2,000 pages active with hundreds of messages and virtual flowers being left on them every day.
Death may be an uncomfortable subject for many but Sue says providing an online service seems to be helping a huge number of people.
Since launching last January, the site achieves up to 30,000 visitors each month from over 80 countries and it offers the most comprehensive list of deaths in the country, drawing together death information published in over 20 newspapers. Over 75% of their pages have activity on them.
“It’s a very humbling experience to be able to provide the forum for so many people to use to remember, celebrate and share their memories,” Sue added.
As well as the bereaved Sue says, genealogists and lawyers are finding site useful to locate people, particularly lawyers when it comes to managing their Will records. Given the demand, A Memory Tree has developed a death notification service to help certain business groups such as the legal, accounting and insurance industries indentify their clients.
“Responsible businesses are fast accepting that timely notification of a clients death helps them not only undertake whatever legal responsibilities they may have and remove the person from their mailing lists, but also acknowledge the passing. It’s very powerful, as customers are once again being recognized as people not just a client number in a huge database.
“While that seems like an old fashioned value in today’s fast- paced world, it is one that customers, and their survivors, want to find in business. Coupled with hearing from the community and their friends from all over the world, it’s very powerful.
“ I feel we’re doing our bit to help bring the human face back and that feels really good.” she added.
A Memory Tree creates and gifts Remembrance Pages for all its listings. The pages are open to the community for 21 days, after which they are archived but available for future or ongoing messages. Sue reports that many use the pages to have final conversations with the deceased, remember special moments spent together, make tribute to a friend, mark an anniversary or special family occasion, and connect with old friends and distant relatives.
The most popular features on the Remembrance Pages are the refresh flowers and light candle options with over two million being refreshed and lit. Complete published death records date back to 2006.