Rituals are symbolic acts and/or representations of loss that can have therapeutic benefit (Rando, 1986).
Rituals have multiple meanings for individuals and communities and deep cultural significance. Funerals are one of the most common forms of collective ritual inviting community participation in a structured form. As well as being planned and considered events, rituals can allow creative expression and evolve organically. Rituals can be private and deeply personal or developed in groups and communities.
- Rituals take many forms including:
- Letter writing
- Creating memory boxes (Worden, 1991)
- Marking areas of significance
- Web memorials (Gilbert, K.R., Hieftje, K.D. & Murray, M.J. 2009)
Communicating online and participating in networks to commemorate people may be particularly relevant for young people who are used to connecting with others through social media. Various forms of ritual online are potential resources for young people to access.