A forever record of one's life
Four years ago, I was standing at my mom and dad’s graveside alongside my granddaughter. It was an overcast sky, winter cold day and being that we were in Arlington National Cemetery at Christmas time, there was a perfectly placed Christmas wreath on each grave. My granddaughter never got to meet her wonderful great grandparents, so she wanted to know more about their lives. Did they go to college; what type of job did they have; where did they grow up; were either of them an artist; did they grow up poor; what were their personalities like? I realized that she wanted more information than is typically found in family tree documents. Also, being a product of the digital age, she was not interested in trying to keep up with a paper record of her great-grandparents life.
So being a website designer, I created FamilyStoryLibrary.com as a quick, easy-to-use tool to preserve a departed loved one’s most important data in a forever page to be enjoyed by future generations. Now my granddaughter and those like her and their children and grandchildren will always be able to enjoy memories of their ancestors. End of story!?
A grief healing toolNot quite! It turns out that an equally popular use for the website is as a grief healing tool. Users send me emails explaining that the act of preserving a loved one’s memory in a forever page is a good first step in their grieving process. Not only do they feel that their loved one will be forever remembered and enjoyed by future generations, but having that memory close at hand on their smartphone and tablet is very comforting.
Typical of emails I receive from grieving users is this one from Patricia S:
"Entering information on your website about my brother, and communicating with our friends about him in the process, has become part of my healing. I very much appreciate the thought you put into the website."
For Patricia and others like her, the creation of a loved one’s forever page becomes a family or group project whereby each person adds stories, pictures, and comments creating a digital story and photo album. In particular, several users tell me about one person adding a funny story, and then another person adds a funny story, and so on until everyone is laughing and feeling better about their loss. Plus future generations will be able to see the personalities of their ancestors.
Pets are just as important
A popular request from my users was to be able to create a page for the loss of a pet. Most pet lovers love their pets as much as they do their children, so the loss of their pet is extremely upsetting. With the new addition of a pet page, pet lovers are using the website as a healing tool. When the pet lover is feeling down, they pull up their pet’s forever page and hold it close. There is great comfort knowing that their pet will always be as close as their smartphone. This seems to be especially true for children and older people.
So as it turns out, DepartedRegistry.com is both a healing tool for the grieving and a registry where future generations can find life stories and memories of loved ones.
In my wildest dreams, I never imagined my website would become a part of one’s healing process. The satisfaction that I feel having created a tool that makes the loss of a loved one a little more bearable and preserves the departed’s stories and images for all their descendants to enjoy is beyond words.
I hope you get as much out of the website as I do!