Music, Memory, Remembrance

dance floor

But hearing it again, knowing that we’re not invincible — that I’m no longer 20, and he is no longer here — was odd. It’s as if the song died with him.

Online Mourning and the Unexpected Refuge of Facebook

digital afterlife-header

Alone, I sobbed. Yet I sobbed with Facebook open—his life revealed and exposed in bits on my screen, his friends spilling tears on his profile. I sobbed at home, by myself, but also with everyone else.

(Digital) Life After Death: A Perfectionist’s Postmortem Fears

digital afterlife-header

Imagine that you die with computer passwords in your head, leaving coworkers without access to critical files. Imagine your loved ones cannot find your bank accounts, or that you die with a secret that you longed to reveal during your lifetime. This copy is pulled from the home page of Deathswitch, which I found through a Mashable article from 2010 that rounds up digital asset services that ensure your “online assets”—email, social media, blogging, and other online accounts—are transferred to trusted individuals after you die. Never mind that the Deathswitch site appears outdated. Its… Read More

On Sorrows and Spirits

Post-Memorial Ritual, June 2011.

We become heavy when a loved one passes away. Weight in the form of tears and wails. Yesterday, my godmother, Lola Maxima, used a concoction of wine and steaming hot water to cleanse guests in the home of the recently departed—my uncle Mike, a loving father to three cousins with whom I grew up, a wonderful husband to my aunt Genie (my father’s older sister), and an always warm, lighthearted person with a perpetual smile. I first participated in this family tradition when my father’s father died years ago. (I took the… Read More