Using a Facebook Wall as a Memorial: The DOs and DON’Ts

In today’s age of social media, when a loved one dies, their Facebook page typically becomes a place where people can go to post photos, share stories, or just connect with other friends and support each other through the process of coping with grief.

We wrote about the topic of grief and social media a little while back, and with the growing popularity of Facebook memorial walls among younger generations, we thought it would be appropriate to address the DOs and DON’Ts of running, and sharing on a memorial Facebook wall.

facebook memorial

Things You “DO” Want to Consider when Creating a Memorial Page on Facebook

First, decide whether the deceased would like to have their Facebook page remain “active.” If they were more private and didn’t use their Facebook account regularly, a memorial page may not be the appropriate thing to do in their situation.

If you decided it is appropriate for them and you’re wondering how to create a memorial page on Facebook, then follow this link. You will be prompted to complete the Facebook Memorialization Request form to turn the deceased timeline into a Facebook memorial page. This link will take you directly to the form to fill out giving Facebook the necessary information and permission to create the memorial page.

Once the account is memorialized:

  • Friends and family will be able to continue to post their memories and stories on the page, depending on privacy settings.
  • Your loved one’s content can remain visible to the friends and family with whom it was originally shared. This includes photos and posts.
  • The memorial Facebook page will no longer show up in suggestions for “People You May Know,” ads, or birthday reminders.
  • No one will be able to login to the account.
  • If the person who has died was the admin of a group, the group will be able to choose a new admin.
  • The word “Remembering” will be displayed on the profile of the person who passed, alongside their name.

Creating Facebook Memorial Pages and Legacy Contacts

If the deceased created a “legacy contact”—someone they chose to look after their account should it be memorialized— the legacy contact will have additional options on the Facebook memorial page:

  • Respond to friend requests: From the profile of the Facebook memorial page. In the bottom right of the cover photo click “manage.” A menu will open which will allow you to add a pinned post, respond to new friend requests, and change the profile picture and cover photo.
  • Create a memorial post and pin it to the top of your loved one’s profile.
  • Ensure that your loved one’s profile and cover photo are respectful and appropriate for a memorial wall.
  • Download a copy of what was shared on Facebook.

Even if your loved one did not select a legacy contact, you can still complete a Facebook memorial by completing the memorialization request form; you will simply have fewer options regarding how to memorialize their profile and what happens to their photos and notes.

If you would like to set up a legacy contact for your Facebook account, the following steps clarify the instructions on the official Facebook help article:

  1. Click the dropdown arrow in the top right corner of the page.
  2. Choose the “Settings” option.
  3. The second option in the left-hand sidebar on the “Settings” page is “Security.” This will open the “Security Settings” page.
  4. The second-to-last option on the “Security Settings” page is “Legacy Contact.” Edit the “Legacy Contact” option.
  5. Typing in the name of a Facebook “friend” in the “Choose a friend” input box will bring up the account of the contact for you to add.

Notes on Legacy Contacts:

  • According to Facebook: “Your legacy contact won’t be notified until your account is memorialized, but you’ll have the option to send them a message right away.”
  • This section of the “Security Settings” page also presents the option to have your account deleted permanently after Facebook is notified of your passing.
  • You must be 18 or older to select a legacy contact.

Facebook Memorial Groups

If your loved one opted to have their account deleted, friends and family can still make a group. Follow these steps to create a Facebook memorial group:

  1. Click the option “Create Group” beneath “Groups” in the left sidebar for your Facebook account
  2. A popup window will appear, giving you the chance to name your group and add any members you want. You can also set privacy settings here.
  3. Click the “Create” button when you’re finished, and Facebook will take you to the group.
  4. The group will have a gear icon at the top right to edit settings where you will be able to upload a picture for the group. You can also set up a group email, description, and tags.
  5. Additionally, Facebook provides a secret options for groups: “Certain groups on Facebook are Secret and may not appear in search results. You can see them once a group member adds you.”
  6. Once your group is set up, it’s time to start inviting friends and family to your loved one’s memorial group on Facebook.

Memorial Page on Facebook—The “DON’Ts”

After you have created the Facebook memorial page, all that remains is to share stories, thoughts, and to celebrate the life of your loved one. Keep the following in mind to ensure that your posts are respectful and help others continue the celebration of a beautiful life:

  • Don’t overshare on the memorial page. Keep your posts short and sweet, just like you would on any other person’s Facebook wall.
  • Don’t comment on a link to a memorial wall. Actually visit the Facebook page and post memories there. That way everyone can read your sentiment.
  • Don’t use the wall for anything other than expressing your memories and grief. All too often people feel safe making personal attacks on the internet. If the deceased had a friend or relative you did not get along with, do not make rude or aggressive comments towards that person on your loved one’s Facebook wall.
  • Don’t forget to be respectful. A Facebook Memorial is not the appropriate place to post a photo of the deceased shotgunning a beer on Spring Break. Show some restraint and post photos and memories that honor your loved one’s life as well as their right to privacy.
  • The grief of loss is an intensely personal experience for everyone touched by it. Be careful not to speak over other people in general. Allow family and friends to have their personal expressions, and let them stand on their own. While you don’t want to define the memorial Facebook page with a tasteless representation of the deceased, it doesn’t help the grieving process to censor friends and family when they break the rules of etiquette. Forgiveness and understanding go a long way in the grieving process.

Overall, treat a Facebook memorial account as a safe area to visit, a place to remember your friend or family member fondly. Treat others that visit the site with reverence and kindness, and the Facebook memorial can become a healthy place for mourning the loss of a loved one.

If you need help with sharing the news of a death on social media, take a look at this article on accouncing the death of a loved one on Facebook for advice.


How to Announce a Death on Facebook

12 Responses to “Using a Facebook Wall as a Memorial: The DOs and DON’Ts”

  1. From Kellie

    My daughter died August 5, 2015 we had a fight and she took me off Facebook how can I make a memorial page and be on her Facebook if she blocked me? I just want to be able to post pictures of her 10 month old daughter and our memories of her. Can you please help me?

  2. From Une Belle Vie Customer Service

    We would like to extend our condolences and sympathy to you over your loss, and hope the following information helps in some small way:

    First, if your daughter had a legacy contact, they can re add you as a friend to your daughters personal account.

    If there is no legacy contact set up, try to reach out to Facebook with their “Special Request for deceased Person’s Account” form located here:
    Explain your situation to them and they might have further guidance.

    Another option is to create a memorial page, separate from her personal profile. That would create a space on Facebook that you can control the content.

  3. From joanne macfarlane

    if someone deleted a deceased persons facebook page without my knowledge, and I still ask facebook to bring it back as a memorial?

  4. From Une Belle Vie Customer Service

    Hi Joanne –
    If the account was deleted, I don’t think it can be restored. Have you reached out to Facebook support to see if they can assist you?
    Another option is to create a page or group on Facebook to allow people to post their memories to.

  5. From Beth Summer

    I don’t quite understand how to start a page so all family, friends and anyone my dad met to share their memories with the family. Please contact me this is all new since he went to heaven on Saturday morning at 755 am . Thanks lots

  6. From Une Belle Vie Customer Service

    Hi Beth –
    It looks like Facebook changed a few of the URLs we were linking to. Those links have been updated in our article to point to
    It’s the new URL on Facebook for requesting a profile to be memorialized.

    If you would like to keep the memorial private, create a “secret” or “closed” group. You can then invite friends and family to join the group and they will be able to post, comment, and upload images.

    Secret groups cannot be found through search. Closed groups can be found, but the content is only available to members.

    Our condolences for your loss and we hope this information has helped you sort through Facebook.
    Une Belle Vie

  7. From MaryAnn Turner

    My best friend & I were hit by a drunk driver in Nov. ’92 and Janie was killed. Obviously she never had a Facebook page. Can I just create one & then memorialize it?
    This is something that I’ve wanted to do for years but I wanted it done correctly. Her only child & his wife have both said that they think it would be a great idea. I’m to the point now, that I’m starting to feel like a “deadbeat” that doesn’t follow-thru but like I said I wanted something that others could share their memories & photos mainly because her son was only 4 when she died & his father refused to “tell stories about her.” Not to mention the fact that she is now a grandmother of 3–all under the age of 5!
    I have my memories but I’m only one person & to get a full picture of my friend I think we need many memories from many family & friends. Hence Facebook has always been my first choice but I want to be able to pin the objective at the top of the page.

    If you have another idea other than Facebook I’d be interested to hear about it as well.

    Thank you for any & all help,

  8. From Une Belle Vie Customer Service

    Hi MaryAnn –
    You could create a facebook profile for her, but I think it would be more appropriate to create a facebook “page”. This will allow others to share their stories along with yours.

  9. From Diane

    I do not agree with others creating a memorial page on behalf of a loved one unless they are the family or spouse of…..I know someone who personally took down the FB page of their deceased spouse, they did this so that they could grieve and accept the death. Within a month a friend whom had not been involved with the family for a few years set up a page of their own wanting to celebrate the life of the deceased. To me this oversteps so many boundaries. Memorial sites or pages on FB should only be erected with the considerations and approval of the spouse or immediate family as only they know what the deceased would have wanted. A lot of these pages are created to be self serving and that is not right. That shows no respect. Social Media is not a way to show grief.

  10. From Une Belle Vie Customer Service

    Hi Diane – Thank you for sharing your insights. Social media as created a whole new frontier for communicating and sharing everything from the birth of a child to the loss of a loved one and it’s something we all have to come to grips with. As with any situation, it’s important to respect the family’s wishes and find a way to handle and process your own grief.

  11. From Denise

    My father-in-law passes away 5 years ago and it’s still tough for my husband. His nephew recently created a FB profile with my FILs name and regularly posts events about his own family (vacations, etc) under this profile. My husband and I find it disrespectful and slightly hurtful, especially in that my FIL was never on FB and didn’t care for or refer to himself in his full name being used by my husband’s nephew. Should we stay quiet, or let his nephew know how we feel, asking him to remove my FILs name from this profile?

  12. From Denise

    My father-in-law passed away 5 years ago and it’s still tough for my husband. His nephew recently created a FB profile with my FILs name and regularly posts events about his own family (vacations, etc) under this profile. My husband and I find it disrespectful and slightly hurtful, especially in that my FIL was never on FB and didn’t care for or refer to himself in his full name being used by my husband’s nephew. Should we stay quiet, or let his nephew know how we feel, asking him to remove my FILs name from this profile?

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