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How can social media technologies be used to assist the grieving process & be integrated in emotional copying strategies...?

posted 10 Jan 2011, 22:42 by Jess Maher   [ updated 31 Jan 2011, 06:49 ]

Computers made our grieving easier

– Clare Grant (Yours Magazine July 2007)

But now thousands of grieving spouses, parents and grandparents are finding an unlikely source of comfort – their home computer.

They are turning to tribute pages on special websites, set up so families can remember lost loved ones. These increasingly popular cyber sites allow you to record your thoughts, display photos, play videos and listen to your chosen music. They can be private, or a way of sharing memories with friends and family. And you can visit your own memorial any time.

Bereavement service manager Nikki Archer, who works at St Giles Hospice in Lichfield believes tribute websites will soon become more widespread.

Bereavement experts advise

  • There are many tribute websites, so decide what is important to you, such as choosing a charity website.
  • Check the on-going costs of your Tribute.
  • Make sure your site is password-protected so it can remain private.
  • Establish that the site doesn’t have promotional advert links that you don’t like, and avoid sites that look tacky or play unpleasant music.
  • Some websites, such as www.missyou.org.uk and www.muchloved.com are developing a voluntary code of conduct, signing up to minimum standards, such as saying what happens to any money generated.

The comfort of memorial websites

– Emine Saner (The Guardian, October 2009) 

"The blossoming of memorial websites is a relatively new phenomenon. "I think there were two things that happened," says Jonathan Davies, who founded memorial site Much Loved."The death of Diana brought about a change in how we grieve publicly, and then the internet connected people and provided a place for it. Bereaved individuals are very vulnerable and often they'll try to find something beneficial to help them through the grieving process," says Denise Kantor, the media consultant for bereavement agency Cruse, which offers free information and advice to adults and children affected by a death. "Nowadays, a memorial website is a common place to grieve - a lot of people are doing it and find the support these websites offer them very helpful. Does it say something about us as a society, that something so private as grief is now often done so publicly? "I do think grief is becoming embraced more by communities – by that I mean people outside the immediate family. I remember in the mid-90s, when my brother died, people would ignore us because they didn't know what to say. That's beginning to change now."