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What does it mean for individually & what do we do as a culture to enable the grief process and accept the loss experienced when a loved one has left us...

posted 10 Jan 2011, 04:43 by Jess Maher   [ updated 31 Jan 2011, 06:52 ]

As we find ourselves in today's realities, with issues and instances of online discussions or virtual presences held by us in life, will have to at some point require the loved ones of that deceased individual to have the arduous process resulting and as such have numerous processes, questions & situations layed out in the grieving process which will need to be addressed. With the case of many service providers online, this kind of question is generally just shoved into the too hard basket for a long time until it is forcedly addressed for whatever reason. In the case of Facebook, the lines are a little more clear cut, the clear distinction between the ownership of Facebook of any uploaded data and the waived rights of the user at the point of registration. 

There is some abiguity as to the effectiveneww and efficency of Facebook to action the options they provide in the case of a users death, however they are realistically only limited to a few;
Report an account to be memorialized: Accounts can be turned into digital insta-memorials. This is a service Facebook actually offers:

Please report this information... so that we can memorialize this person's account. Memorializing the account removes certain more sensitive information like status updates and restricts profile access to confirmed friends only.

Take the account down If you make a special request (again through the form) you can have the account removed completely. 

When considering the stub topic of death and morning on Wikipedua, it is no surprise that there is infact a topic heading dedicated to Social Media & Death . 

Using social networking sites to create an online forum where people can write things about the deceased friend or loved one

There has been extended discussion and debate about what it appropriate and reasonable in the case of a death in the online world. The use of online mediums to assist and support the grieving process is receiving wider recognition as the integration of social media increases. 


In an article in the Guaridan Newspaper, "He believes other families gain comfort from memorial sites. "People thought it was a bit morbid, and I suppose in a sense it is, but in a good way. Some people set up memorials very soon after someone's death – it is a way of coming to terms with what has happened, and a way to express anger and grief and a place for other family members to express condolences. 

Useful and interesting articles, posts and sites...

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."   

Is there a next level? Other ideas and concepts of what it means to each of us about the "afterlife"... 

My personal interest when it comes to discussing such issues and debates relates to the individual understandings & beliefs surrounding what constitutes "the next beyond" or "afterlife". 

My personal beliefs are probably somewhere related to a number of different concepts or belief bases really... 

Survivalism refers to the belief in the survival of the conscious self after the death of the physical body.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivalism_(life_after_death))

Eternalism is a philosophical approach to the ontological nature of time. It builds on the standard method of modeling time as a dimension in physics, to give time a similar ontology to that of space. This would mean that time is just another dimension, that future events are "already there", and that there is no objective flow of time. It is sometimes referred to as the "Block Time" or "Block Universe" theory due to its description of space-time as an unchanging four-dimensional "block",[1] as opposed to the view of the world as a three-dimensional space modulated by the passage of time.

Eternal return (also known as "eternal recurrence") is a concept which posits that the universe has been recurring, and will continue to recur, in a self-similar form an infinite number of times across infinite time and or infinite space. It is a purely physical concept, involving no supernatural reincarnation, but the return of beings in the same bodies. Time is viewed as being not linear but cyclical.

The first line of Disney's Peter Pan is "All of this has happened before, and it will all happen again."