Life After Death Online

to-heaven-web

A few years back I interviewed the creator of the controversial website www.mydeathspace.com on my radio show. When I discovered the site I was a MySpace blogger and never knew anything like this was out there. MyDeathSpace.com is a database of people all over the country who have died AND have MySpace pages. The unique part of MyDeathSpace is that no one is exempt. There are celebrities as well as just everyday citizens profiled on their website. You could literally spend hours reading through the database. They even require documentation of death before any person is added to the database so there are no false claims.

My first trip to the site was unreal. I originally thought it was really morbid and somewhat insensitive. As I continued to read my opinions changed. There are so many people in my life that I truly only know online. I’m heading into my third year on internet radio and some of my most faithful supporters have been with me since the beginning and I’ve never laid eyes on them in “real life” but they are most definitely my friends and people I’ve come to genuinely love. Would I know if something ever happened to them?

The website also links to the deceased persons MySpace page and that became another eye opening experience for me. There were comments after comments from friends, family, and love ones leaving messages for the deceased like they could still read them. It was very eerie! Then I found one where the person had passed away two years earlier and went back to the day the person died and started to read the comments from the beginning. In reading those comments I saw the healing. I saw how the internet has given a gift to many people. It has provided a place to vent, a place to join others who miss their loved ones, and a place to honor and memorialize someone who was very special to you.

This has come to light now because I lost a friend a few months ago and he was on my Facebook page. He was a young kid and just starting out in the world with the brightest future. He was fiercely intelligent and was finally ready to take on the world of academics full time and even had the countdown of when he was leaving work to start school on his desk.  He never made it out of that cubicle. He was struck and killed just a few days before. Tragic seems too light of a word when someone who is barely 22 years old passes away.

What does this have to do with Facebook? Well, Facebook now has suggestions of who to catch up with and leave messages for when you log in and it seems that he keeps popping up over there with “Send Ryan a message” or “Share the latest news!” At first it just seemed odd to keep him on my Facebook but it also seemed wrong to delete him. Was there some sort of protocol that I should follow? Would it be inappropriate to delete him?

Today,  when I was settling in to write I hopped on Facebook and there he was again asking me to share the latest news. I went over to his page and I saw some incredible healing going on. His mother writing to him about how proud she was to call him her son and sharing the memories of being a young mother. His father sharing the latest news about what was going on in his life and upcoming memorials for him. It was really quite beautiful and I knew from the first word that I wasn’t going to delete his profile. It was truly his legacy and a meeting place for all of those people who loved him to mourn and support one another through the hardest times of their lives. I felt honored to be a part of it.

I have a whole new respect for the internet. I love how it can tell me who composed Flight of the Bumblebee, the ingredients for buttercream icing, the temperature of artic circle and can keep the ones we love with us and the lines of communication open even after death. Amazing!

Have you kept an online memorial, Facebook, or MySpace page open from a loved one? Do you still continue to write to him or her?

About the Author

Regina Foster Bartlett is a mother of two teenagers who recently married her soulmate and believes her favorite wedding gift was the addition of four stepchildren and four grandchildren! She’s a confessed tech-nerd who loves all things social media. She’s also a published freelance writer and she’s been blogging since before blogging was cool. She's the voice behind the radio broadcast and writer behind this blog. Always on the lookout for interesting stories she can be reached by emailing: regina@reginasuniverse.com or using the Contact form by clicking the link above.