Few decisions are more sensitive and cause greater emotion than how to do a memorial. It is a delicate topic on a personal level but when you’re planning a public memorial the scope and scale escalate every decision.

People in Las Vegas are experiencing this first-hand as they try to finalize plans for a memorial for lives lost at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in 2017. One of the key decisions is where to locate the tribute. While it may seem obvious that the memorial is at the site of the shooting, others feel that returning to that location would be too traumatic for the survivors. Another key point of debate is what names to inscribed in the remembrance: should it be the 58 who lost their lives there or should the two who died afterward be included as well? There are hundreds of stakeholders and an equal amount of passions and opinions to navigate.

While you may not be responsible for a project of this nature, it is likely that you will be involved in some type of tribute to those who have passed. It may be recognizing a colleague who died, a community member who suddenly or tragically lost their life, or even publishing a list of those who were lost this year. Keep in mind that each of the people you are memorializing leaves behind loved ones who are very much alive – and very attuned to each nuance of every decision you make. Remember to allow others to help shape how you remember others.

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