NPR: Mourning And Instagramming The Death Of A Pet. “In 1998, photographer Preston Gannaway and her college roommate answered a newspaper listing that advertised kittens. They drove out to a house and found a man waiting in the driveway, carrying a kitten in each arm. Gannaway picked the one with short hair, because of allergies, and named her Isis because of the Bob Dylan song — ‘Isis, you mystical child’ like the Egyptian goddess, not the terrorist group. They lived together for almost 17 years.” Warning: may punch you right upside the feels.
The Verge: The unexpected catharsis of an Instagram location page. “My father was born on May 12th. Today he would have turned 56, had he not passed away in 1996. When I was in college, my family and I would visit our motherland in Bangkok over the summer break in May, and our tradition was to always visit the temple where my dad’s ashes resided…. So when my brother and mom went back to Thailand this year without me for the first time in three years, all I could do was journey with them from afar as my brother Instagrammed his way through the travel. But this year, he did something he hadn’t done in the past. He tagged every location he visited, leaving behind breadcrumbs that would lead me to the temple’s location page on Instagram and filling a void I didn’t know existed.”
NBC News: Museums across the nation work to archive mementos of grief left after shootings. “At the Clark County Museum in Henderson, Nevada, a group of volunteers gathers every week to sort through boxes of historical artifacts. But rather than coming from ancient times, these mementos are recent tributes in response to tragedies that are becoming all too familiar. Flowers, notes, teddy bears and cowboy hats were left in memorial on Las Vegas Boulevard in the days and weeks after Stephen Paddock killed 58 people during a country concert last October.”
Global Newswire: NHF Receives Grant from Legal & General America to Foster Healthy Communities through Development of a Find a Grief/Bereavement Provider Tool (PRESS RELEASE). “Legal & General America has awarded a $25,000 grant to the National Hospice Foundation for the creation of an online resource to help the public find information and community support services addressing grief and bereavement. LGA will work with NHF affiliate the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization to create an online searchable database that will offer resources such as individual counseling, group support and workshop activities designed to help individuals struggling with grief and loss.”
University of Colorado Boulder: When celebrities die, ‘grief policing’ abounds, social media gets toxic. “After the deaths of David Bowie, Prince and actor Alan Rickman in 2016, grieving fans flocked to public comment threads on social media to pay their respects in what has been likened to a virtual wake. But many also arrived to find a toxic space where so-called ‘grief police’ mocked them for lamenting the loss of a stranger, chastised them for emotional rubber-necking or even dissed the dead. That’s the key finding of a study published this week by CU Boulder researchers who analyzed more than 7,000 Facebook comments to gain insight into how people mourn death in the internet age. Their conclusion: People are surprisingly mean to each other online even in times of tragedy, but some technological fixes could likely make things better.”
NBC Washington: ‘Griefstagram’ Shows New Way to Mourn on Social Media . “Kate George was sitting on a plane, swiping through photos on her phone of herself and her late husband when tears began to roll down her face. Only 78 days had passed since he died at age 32. As George wept on a crowded plane this March, she did something she had never done before: She took a photo of herself crying.”
Northeastern: Facebook Can Function as Safety Net for the Bereaved, Study Finds. “Neuroscientists have long noted that if certain brain cells are destroyed by, say, a stroke, new circuits may be laid in another location to compensate, essentially rewiring the brain. Northeastern’s William R. Hobbs, an expert in computational social science, wanted to know if social networks responded similarly after the death of a close mutual friend.”