I touched on digital legacies in an earlier post but I’m hope to soon be able to post more extensive information, because on Saturday I’ll be attending The Digital Legacy Conference: addressing Digital Legacy & Digital Death in today’s connected World. Then in June I’ll be attending another event: Grief in a Digital World, organised by the Childhood Bereavement Network.
I’m going specifically to inform my work on drafting a leaflet on digital legacies for The Compassionate Friends, but my interest goes further.
There are a few aspects in my thoughts.
One is the concern for our own digital legacy. It’s something we can work on preparing now, and it may well be important for ourselves. And if – like myself – we are now childless – whether through bereavement or other factors – then that is another reason we think about what we are leaving behind. I personally want my digital legacy to include my children…which leads to the second concern:
For bereaved parents, we want to preserve and honour our children’s memory in a way that will live on beyond our own lifespan. Our deceased children may or may not have their own digital legacy. My daughter Catherine died 4 years ago aged almost 30, and left a small footprint in the internet world. My son Pax died in 1982, aged only 3. Obviously he had no digital legacy. In fact most of his pictures were just black and white prints until I scanned them. I’ve had to create any digital legacy for him from scratch. So as parents, there are different issues. Also our adult child may have had a partner, and almost certainly a network of friends, and that may complicate our access, or give us other issues to think about. … Then there are any surviving brothers and sisters, and we need to think about our impact on them.
Well, all of that is on the lines of I want to preserve my / their legacy. What I hope to get from these conferences is a clearer issue of how to do it.
So watch this space!
⇝ About the Digital Legacy Conference
The Digital Legacy Conference will explore society’s changing attitudes and behavior in relation to death, end of life issues and mourning. It will be examined from a number of differing perspectives. The conference is free to attend due to the kindness of the supporters.
The Digital Legacy Conference will feature as part of Dying Matters Awareness Week 2015.
Dying Matters aims to raise public awareness about the importance of talking openly about dying, death and bereavement and of making end of life wishes known. It is led by the National Council for Palliative Care.
⇝ Subject matters addressed
- The world ‘before the birth of Facebook’ (before Facebook/ BFB)
- Digital legacy
- Digital grief
- Utilising technology to deal with death
- Digital memory loss
- Death in today’s digital world
- MND, communication and digital legacy
- Funeral streaming
- UK Laws around digital assets and digital legacy
- Preparing for our own digital death