“The Experience of Grief Is Changing”

Kate Lindsay writes for The Atlantic on digital afterlives:

As the author Marisa Renee Lee noted in this magazine last year, “Grief is the repeated experience of learning to live after loss.” Today, with our ever-expanding digital and technological reach, loved ones left behind must encounter more reminders of that loss than ever before. Memory endures through the email accounts still collecting marketing messages, the Facebook arguments frozen in time, the iPad that continues to uselessly ping about an overdue library book. Left unattended, these digital assets float aimlessly in the internet’s ether. To have control over them presents the inheritor with a challenging personal quandary: Do they take advantage of the weird comfort these digital remains can provide, sinking into an in-between world where the person who died still feels alive, in small pixelated ways? Or do they shut it all down and accept a second death?

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