How we visualise memorials

Creative Memorials

Fifth in a series exploring the relationship between individuals, memories and memorials. For more information, please visit www.echoleft.com

In a recent post I talked about how Echoleft can work like a book that holds the pieces of our lives between the covers. We can collect memories, photographs and even audio into a memorial that we — and our families and friends — can read online.

Echoleft is personal, though. We all bring our own memories, or the memories of loved ones, and we all create different stories from these memories. My story of my great-great aunt Dency Anne is different from both of my aunt’s stories of Dency Anne, and all of our stories are different from my late Nana’s story.

Perhaps I have been thinking of Echoleft as a book because I do a lot of reading. For me and other avid readers, memories might fit together like sentences in a book fit together. Someone who sews might think of memories as being stitched together until they form something as large and complex as a quilt. Someone who gardens might think of memories as the collection of plants and flowers they take the time to cultivate.

We might think of our collection of memories as being like a beloved book, or a comfortable quilt, or a beautiful garden.

We can all add as many memories as we choose to Echoleft, and we can choose who is allowed to see them. Our memories can arrive in different forms: photographs of ourselves and family and friends, messages to loved ones who are gone, stories about ourselves and loved ones. We might think of our collection of memories as being like a beloved book, or a comfortable quilt, or a beautiful garden.

The ways we use Echoleft are personal, too. I like to read books from front to back without peeking ahead, but my grandmother always reads the end first. Both of us like rereading our favourite parts, though. With Echoleft, we can read the story our memories tell from beginning to end, or we can dip in and out as we choose. The straight lines of quilt patterns are like a straight timeline of our story, but the stitching in quilts often zigs and zags and tells a story of its own. If we see our memories as forming a sort of memorial garden, we can take a path, straight or winding, through our garden, or we can buzz from memory to memory, story to story, almost like a bumblebee would.

You can add a memory to tell a piece of a story, and others can add memories that contribute to a larger story.

You may think of the story of your life as taking a different shape, or even many shapes. With Echoleft, there is no right or wrong way to create a memorial. There is just you, your memories and the friends and family you invite to share these memories. You can tell your life story. You can tell someone else’s story. You can add a memory to tell a piece of a story, and others can add memories that contribute to a larger story. Together, we can tell the stories of the people who are important to us.