Monday, October 24, 2011


"I regret to inform you..."

Death Notification
One of the blogs I check daily is American Digest, run by Gerard Vanderleun. He ran RightNetwork until the money guys stopped paying and it fell apart. He has one of the bigger right-leaning blogs around and his site is always packed with good stuff.

For a eight days he hasn't posted anything at all. It turns out he's very ill and he could probably use donations and your prayers. Apparently Gerard is doing better, but he must have been really ill to not post anything at all for over a week.

Which got me thinking about something I've pondered for a while now. I used to chat quite a bit, about 10 years ago, and I made a lot of acquaintances on there who I was close to in an internet sort of way. One of them was incredibly depressed and unreachable, it was like staring into a huge black hole when chatting with her. One day I got a suicide note from her on MIRC, a little message thanking me for being nice to her and that she was killing herself. Her sister contacted me on IRC, since I knew her too and confirmed it.

But usually, if you just leave, nobody knows anything about it. I knew a girl with a horrible debilitating disease that was killing her. By now she's certainly dead, but we fell out of contact and I have no way of knowing. I had a guy there who was a friend, but he stopped posting one day. What happened to him?

What I'm getting at here is that if suddenly one day I stopped posting on WATN, would anyone reading have a clue what happened? If I got hit by a meteor or fell dead from an aneurism, how would my World of Warcraft friends know? In my case, my brother could let people know, but how many people have that option?

And even if someone could, how often does anyone have all your passwords, let alone know all the people and places that should be told? Sending out letters and letting folks know that a family member has died is a dreary, awful chore, but has always been a part of life. But with the current internet age, now it has become even more difficult, extensive, and dreary.

Its almost worth considering a business where people register locations and people to be contacted so that with a single effort a designated successor could handle all the death notifications or sickness information. Certainly its something extra people have to plan for in the modern age. Perhaps this is something your attorney should know about.


Peccable said...

Death is personal. I don't care if the whole world is at your bedside. They are not going where you are at this moment.

Combat teaches soldiers that comradeship is important, but when death is visited, no one is calling for their bud; it's Mom.
She's not there.

Christopher R Taylor said...

Ultimately everything we do, we do alone, just us and God.