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Technology and Grief

Technology and Your Grief Journey

By | Grief/Loss, Technology and Grief

The technological developments of the 21st century have touched every aspect of lives, and the ways in which we deal with loss and cope with grief are transforming. The rise of social media and other technological advances have had an effect on the way that we navigate our grief journeys, and many people feel that cyberspace communication has the potential to aid in the grieving process. Here are some ways in which technological innovations can help you deal with grief.

Announcing the Loss

After a loss, it’s important to find a way to communicate the news of death as efficiently as possible. Of course, those closest to the deceased should be told in person, but there is less agreement on how the news should be spread to those outside of the inner circle. Online obituaries and social media sites allow the information to go out to the deceased’s entire social network of friends, which keeps you from having to make the painful announcement multiple times to different groups of people.

Most funeral homes post obituaries online, which can easily be shared across social media channels, helping the news get out to your social network much faster. What you don’t want is for a very close friend or family member to find out about the death on Facebook. Before making the post, take stock of who might be hurt by receiving the information on social media. Once you are sure that everyone who is closest to the deceased has been informed in person or by phone, then announce the loss on social media.

Receiving Social Support

Social media allows you to receive the support of loved ones both near and far. Caring words, condolences, and memories can all be shared by friends on social media. If you need time to yourself, you can read their messages at your own leisure; social media puts less pressure on you to respond immediately. You might post a tribute on the account that gives friends the opportunity to say a few words to honor the deceased or provide comfort. The loved one’s account can be turned into a memorial page, which mourners return to from time to time to express their feelings and honor the life. This online support network can be very beneficial to you as you begin your grief journey.

Crowdfunding Sites

Struggling to find a way to pay for a service? You can use crowdfunding websites to create a funeral campaign. Some of these websites are general fundraising platforms that can help you raise money for a funeral. GoFundMe.com in particular has become a very popular way to campaign for a service. Other websites such as Funeral Fund are specifically tailored to funeral fundraising. These sites provide efficient ways to receive the financial support that you or a loved one needs to craft a meaningful ceremony.

Memorial Websites

You may decide that you want to do more than a Facebook post to honor a loved one. If so, consider making a memorial webpage. Memorial websites such as Legacy, Remembered and Your Tribute allow you to create an online memorial that can be accessed for years to come. These sites allow you write tributes, add photos, and post videos of remembrance. The memorial website gives you an online space to return to periodically for reflection. Just as we return to the gravestone with flowers in hand to spend a few moments to remember, so too can we return to a memorial page to contemplate the life of a loved one.

Memorial Video Sites

Memorial video sites help you to create quality video content to honor the life and capture the spirit of your loved one. Perhaps the most popular of these sites is animoto, which is easy to use and allows you to create high-quality, professional-looking videos. Online tutorials are available, and the website will take you step-by-step through the process of making a great memorial video.

QR Code on Headstone

Want more information than you can fit on a headstone? Consider installing a QR code. By scanning this code with your smart phone, you can obtain additional information about the loved one online. QR codes can be linked to memorial webpages or online obituaries. This option provides a unique experience, allowing you to participate in the timeless tradition of visiting the headstone while getting the most out of 21st century technological advances. QR codes are worth considering if you are looking to create a highly personalized marker to honor your loved one.

A New Way of Grieving

Technological advances are creating a wide range of possibilities for communicating with others in times of grief. While having direct contact with people is essential, social media can also be a useful tool to help you on your grief journey. Through the use of online platforms, you can cultivate a support network, create online memorials that help you to reflect on and remember the life that was lived, expedite the process of spreading important news, and receive messages of encouragement in a way that doesn’t put pressure on you or anyone else who is grieving.

If you are struggling financially, crowdfunding websites can help you to get the support that you need to have a funeral for your loved one. If you are looking for special ways to memorialize your loved one, memorial websites, memorial videos, and QR codes can help you to craft a personalized tribute. Since technology is playing an increasingly important role in our everyday lives, it makes sense that it should also have its place in celebrating our lives and mourning our deaths.

Grief and Loss in the Digital Age

By | Grief/Loss, Planning Tools, Technology and Grief

Is There Room for Technology in the Funeral Profession?

People often associate funeral homes with tradition, order, and family values. When they think of technology, they think innovation, variety, and convenience. These two sets of positive characteristics aren’t mutually exclusive. The reliability of the old fashioned, personable, customer service-oriented funeral home and the ease of technology can work in tandem to create a valuable service. Taking the best of the classical funeral experience and fusing it with the latest technological innovations can help us craft meaningful ceremonies for our loved ones.

Technology Used During the Service

In the 21st century, the funeral service has changed drastically. Whereas photographs of the deceased used to be displayed near the casket, they are now able to be projected on slideshows. Video and music capabilities have increased the level of personalization in the average funeral. Clips of the deceased or favorite songs are played to capture the spirit of a loved one. These developments illustrate technology’s potential to enrich a ceremony and aid in the grieving process.

Broadcasting a Funeral Service Online

Another innovation is the ability to stream a funeral service online. While this may not be the ideal way for loved ones to participate in the funeral (the communal aspect that is achieved when a group of people gather in a room should not be underestimated), it can be useful in some circumstances because it allows people in distant places to connect. For example, if a family member or friend is overseas and unable to attend the service, this kind of broadcast could be of great benefit.

Websites

Many funeral homes have now made the leap into cyberspace, building websites and online resources to meet the needs of the people they serve. These websites often contain obituaries, grief resources, aftercare information, and online forms for prearranging funerals. Sometimes, you are able to use the funeral home website to send flowers to those who are grieving. Visit your local funeral home’s website to see what services they offer and what resources they provide.

Social Media

Social media sites have changed the game by creating a public online platform on which people can honor the life of a loved one and pay their respects. Families might access the loved one’s account to post a final, meaningful tribute, and people can comment to show how the loved one touched them. In this way, social media can function as a giant support network, in which hundreds or even thousands of people receive the news of a loved one’s passing. Social media is a great additional step that you can take to connect with people that you care about during a time of loss.

Digital Funeral Planning

In addition to providing more information and buying options, technology can play an important role in funeral arrangements by facilitating more efficient communication with funeral directors. Passare, a new company that is designed to make funeral arranging easier on both the funeral director and the client, offers an online space that allows you to connect with your funeral director at any time and any place. All that you need is access to an electronic device. The online Collaboration Center is easily accessible and gives you a voice in the planning process.

Innovation

Exciting advances are regularly being made in the technological world. These advancements aren’t working to make funeral homes obsolete. Rather, they provide funeral directors with tools to better serve their clients. Those who are planning for a service can use the web as a valuable resource to become better informed and to choose the options that suit their personal needs. And of course, technology plays a role in the funeral service itself, which uses audio and video capabilities to enhance the service and capture the unique characteristics of the loved one. These innovations have the potential to positively shape the grieving process and help us to honor the lives of our loved ones.