“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
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.
By answering a series of CAKE cards, you can discover and store your end of life wishes. These can then be shared with your loved ones after you have passed away.
Thomas Staley, a tech entrepreneur, invented and launched Loggacy. Loggacy is founded upon the notion that there is a perennial human quest for ‘immortality’ – to create a personal narrative, leave something behind, pass something on and make a mark on the world. To hear more about Loggacy look out for the podcast episode coming soon with Thomas.
Allowing people to create secret 'goodbye' messages after you have passed Dead Social is bringing a different slant to the end of planning marketplace. DeadSocial is a social enterprise specialising in digital end of life planning. They provide independent tutorials, tools and resources to help empower society when addressing death in today's digital world. All the tutorials and products they put into the public domain are free. The founder James Norris has also created - The Digital Legacy Association The Digital Legacy Association supports healthcare professionals, hospices and those delivering end of life care with information and training
Halolife was founded in May 2015 and is based in San Francisco, California. They are a trusted community marketplace for friends and family to find and plan end-of-life arrangements based on needs, budget, and location. Whether people need immediate assistance planning a funeral or as an individual or family pre-planning a service, they help you every step of the way.
Everest claims that more than 25 million people across the US and Canada have access to the service as part of their employee benefits packages. “They’re getting used to these kinds of services in other parts of their lives. It’s just one more of those,” says Mark Duffey, Everest’s CEO. “Instead of making it harder, in many cases, it makes it simpler.” Everest has recently developed a TV and social media campaign to attract younger people - view the YouTube Video below.
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?
How do you think these death apps could shape the future of the funeral industry?
I would love to hear from you! Please contact me.