Melanie’s Memorial Shrine

Melanie's Shrine

As Casja said–we’ve lost many people in SL this summer, and many to cancer. I wanted to take this post to ease us back into blogging, as well as talk about how to erect a memorial shrine for someone you love.

These are more tips than a how-to, but I hope someone can use this to build an effective memorial. We would all like to think we would not need this information, but sometimes you do.

Location of the shrine is extremely important. For Melanie, she wouldn’t want to be too far from the water. Think about where your love one always was standing around or visiting in the grid. If you can’t put a shrine in that location, you can attempt to recreate it somehow (a skybox would help, in that case).

Style is the next important subject. Melanie was Hawaiian and Japanese-American. Her shrine is a callback to memorial shrines in Asia, as well as a mix of American style, with many reminders of Hawaii and her life there.

Candles are great, but mementos are important too. Fill your shrine until it’s almost overflowing with things your loved one would appreciate. Melanie liked different types of food, sweets, and drinks. The beer I placed on the shrine is more about her frank nature than it is about what type of beer she liked. There’s cake and sushi, and a dancing cat statue I found at the Okinawa Summer Festival going on right now. Melanie also loved What Next’s surfboards, so I rezzed them behind her shrine as a nice background.

Flowers. Melanie loved flowers that reminded her of Hawaii. We rezzed red hibiscus flowers around the shrine, with single flowers here and there as finishing touches.

Add a little tasteful humor if it’s appropriate. For Melanie, I found a small volcano from Boogers that would probably make her laugh if she saw it. When a visitor touches the volcano, it will display a tiny eruption. Humor may not always be applicable for your loved one, but if they’re a casual person who had lots of jokes, they might appreciate something funny on their shrine.

Stay away from religion unless the person is religious or made references to it a lot. Some friends in SL are religious; I would leave a prayer stand for them, in that case. I was going to do this for Melanie, but I paused in this and rezzed candles instead. If you have to give a second thought about any element to add to the shrine, don’t add it. That means it might not be a good idea and your heart is trying to tell you not to do it.

Guestbooks are a great idea. I’m using this one, which I found on Marketplace. Tell your loved one’s friends about the shrine, let them visit and make an entry. They will enjoy the shrine all the much more for it.

Your shrine can be temporary, or be functional with an ongoing purpose. Maybe build a cafe or a park around it, or turn it into a permanent art gallery. Whatever you do, remember the shrine is a part of you saying goodbye, and take your time in building it so you don’t feel rushed or pressured.

– The last option is a presence of a spirit. I rezzed a butterfly, reduced transparency of it, and set it to glow. The butterfly is Melanie herself.

You can visit Melanie’s memorial at the Juicybomb sim. Take some time for yourself, turn on sound, and enjoy the tranquility and view of the ocean.

And we hope you never have to use this entry’s information, but it’s here if you need it.

Posted by Aemeth

Hi! I’m Aemeth. I paint and make things in SL for fun. Read my blog at Aemy Says.

3 comments

  1. This is very nice! These are great points. Melanie would love her memorial that you made for her.

  2. Hello juicybomb, it is wonderful to read your sad but very real blog about losing a friend in SL to a RL cruel disease. I too, have lost two very close friends who passed away 2 years ago, friends came together and we have a memorial service and built a shrine.
    Vale to your friend Melanie, and again thank you sharing your thoughts. Warm regards , caramia

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