“Some of us will be long forgotten before we are even dead. Most will never be remembered at all, not even by family.” ― Paul Bamikole
How Will You Be Remembered?
Deep within each one of us lies a desire to believe that someone will remember us. That for the years of lives we made a mark somehow. I was here. I existed. I mattered. I loved. And, I was loved.
There was a wooden school desk in Parkside School Bromsgrove that had its lid inscribed with a compass during one riveting maths lesson, 'Pete was here.' I have boxes of photos. Glimpses of life silently captured for a moment. Do these muted pictures help keep the memory of me alive? I have a few frames of videotape. Holidays in the sun, Christmas, birthdays, and a day in the park. What happened to all my days in between? I recently celebrated my 20,000 day birthday. I can't remember where most of those days have gone, how will those who have loved me even remember?
Someone asked J.K. Rowling “How do you want to be remembered? "As someone who did the best she could with the talent she had.”
What about you, how do you want to be remembered?
Memories Go Online
Each week as a funeral celebrant, I sit with families who have lost a loved one. It can be tough to remember and put into words what someone you dearly loved was like. Moreover, what would they want to be said and done to remember them? Most families don't have those discussions.
For the future, though, this will not be the case. Digital technology is disrupting society and culture. Traditions we have held for years are being set aside as technology allows us to make new choices about how remembering our lives will happen.
There is a wave of apps and websites driving the funeral and end of life planning marketplace. These apps make the process of storing memories simple. Upload photos, videos, thoughts about your life so people in the future can remember you. Add into that, the secure storage of digital assets, and passwords for your online accounts. All ages are embracing this digital technology. It will change the funeral planning marketplace. Investing millions of dollars in these companies, venture capitalists see significant opportunities for investment return as these online businesses gain momentum.
Here Are 8 Death Apps Worth Checking Out
Once I've Gone allows you to record your final wishes and important information so that it can be shared with your nearest and dearest. You can use the site to capture special memories and messages, record your life story for future generations and even start your bucket list. I recently interviewed the founder of Once I've Gone, Ian Dibb, on the podcast.
What is SafeBeyond? Throughout our lives, we mark the passage of time with significant life events such as birthdays, graduations, and weddings. While a person can predict where and when these future events will take place with relative certainty, he or she cannot guarantee that he or she will have the chance to attend such events. SafeBeyond can:
Help people you love to cope better after you've passed away
Remain a part of your loved one's lives forever
Keep your messages in a safe place and guarantee peace of mind
Moran Zur is the CEO and Founder at safebeyond.com and he wrote a guest blog post for Death Goes Digital
It all started in 2010 when Andrew Smith ended up in the hospital for 6 days. There is nothing like sitting in a hospital bed to get you thinking about life and death! Andrew decided he needed to write his final wishes down. He got to thinking about the celebration he would like, the photos he’d want shared, and the music he’d like played. But where can I write this all down? In that moment the Final Wish website and platform was born. Final Wish is a place to collect and share the stories of a life and more importantly how you would want to be remembered.
To listen to an interview with the founder and CEO of Final Wish check out this podcast
TSOLife focuses on creating innovative ways to preserve a legacy and pass down life stories for future generations. Our mission is that no grandchild should have to wonder what their grandparent was like. Our unique solutions create the most personalised way to pass down personal stories that families will share and cherish for generations.
To listen to an interview with the founder and CEO of TSOLife check out this podcast
You present the materials—personal papers, letters, clippings, art work, compositions, drawings, plans, photos and videos. LivesArchived provides a safe, permanent, public archive for them. They ensure transparency about where the information is stored and who stores it. Whether you want to create a work portfolio, family archive, ancestral history, personal library or loved one’s memorial, LivesArchived will meet your needs.
To listen to an interview with the founder and CEO of LivesArchived check out this podcast
The Qeepr Team has created an interactive story-telling platform that allows you to fill in the “dash” of your life or a loved one with memories, messages, photos, smiles and laughter. You now have the ability to become a Qeepr to preserve and share the legacy of your predecessors. Qeepr is a social media site dedicated to memorialising the lives of the departed with the aid of modern technology.
To listen to an interview with the founder and CEO of Qeepr check out this podcast
We have all been touched by the passing of someone we care about deeply. These experiences have highlighted how difficult and painful this can be for those left to mourn and grieve. Memorialize Me aims to help our users better prepare themselves and their loved ones for their inevitable passing. You can use MemorializeMe on your computer or download the free iPhone app to use your account wherever you are. Memorialize Me also provides a wealth of in depth, timely, and relevant death care related information to their user community. They provide applications, tools and reference materials to those in need of death care related services.
To listen to an interview with the founder and CEO of Memorializeme check out this podcast
With the direct brand tagline - "You're Not Immortal. Deal with it." Everplans guide people through every step that is needed to ensure all your final wishes are met.
Where Does This Leave The Funeral Industry?
These apps and online services should give traditional Funeral Directors a wake-up call. The marketplace is shifting significantly. The move is for the process of funeral planning to be removed from the hands of Funeral Directors and placed firmly in the realm of personal choice. Choosing how someone will be remembered is no longer going to be a guessing game. Clear choices made maybe decades earlier will guide the purchases, places and process of a funeral.
How can you respond?
Learn as much as you can about what is happening digitally in the funeral industry. To be unaware is dangerous as the trends are changing so quick you will suddenly be overtaken by the changes.
Adapt your business model to become more digitally relevant. Can you offer online funeral planning? Can you build recommending one of these death apps into your pre-paid funeral planning sales process?
Think medium term. How in five years could the funeral marketplace look? If people are choosing to hold funerals in different locations, with multi-media presentations, social media live streaming and virtual wakes, what can you do today to prepare for those kinds of changes? Can you invest in one member of your staff to become the digital ambassador for your business?