Inspired by social networking sites like MySpace and online trade and dating, Maggie Candy, a British nurse revolutionized the way the bereaved pay tribute to their dead by creating an online memorial.
When Candy's daughter Stella committed suicide at age 17, she found the adult world of condolence books, sympathy cards and graveyard headstones out-dated and lacking in what it could offer in Stella's memory.
She turned to a new world of online memorials and so-called "death networking" to create a fitting tribute.
"For most younger people now, the Internet is something they use every day and online memorials are a natural evolution," she told Reuters.
Candy now runs a Web site, on which users create a memorial page with pictures, poems and tributes which can be visited, viewed and added to by anyone who feels a need.
Candy's virtual memorial to her daughter was one of the starting blocks for what some call the latest "e-trend" in Britain.
Online shrines in Britain have only recently begun to grow in popularity, partially due to a spate of fatal stabbings and shootings among teenagers.
"In the past year there have been some very high profile stabbings and gun murders among young people and they have fuelled massive growth on our site," said Nicola Davis, site manager of www.gonetoosoon.co.uk, one of Britain's largest online memorials.
Young people find it easier to express themselves in online mourning now that they spend so much of its time of social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.
Online memorials are also good to the environment. "We are running out of space in this country for graves, and cemeteries," said Candy.
"With an online memorial, it can be private when I want it to be private, but it is always there, and there is some comfort that no matter where I go, I can go online and see it."
Last Mod: 03 Eylül 2007, 19:13