In the end, a video broadcast was one of the few comforts I could extend when, six months later, I had to call that same far-flung sibling -- who wouldn't be able to join us in person -- with the inevitable news that Grandma was gone. "We'll Skype you into the funeral," I promised, our hearts breaking together. Click here for "Logging Out," a look at death in the digital age. As our family dealt with logistics, I fretted over what Skyping my grandma's funeral would mean. Could I find a Wi-Fi network reliable enough to sustain multiple callers for the hourlong service? Would some family members be offended if I also streamed the graveside burial? Would I be able to hold a phone and mop my face with tissues at the same time?.
These questions speak to the quiet role technology plays in mourning, On the one hand, Skype, chat threads and social networks help mourners connect to a community of friends and loved ones when they can't be physically present, On the other, smartphones and tablets -- often associated with selfies and status updates -- could be considered intrusive or plain poor taste when capturing mourners at the height of their grief, "I don't see at funerals the same lurky electronic devices [as weddings]," said Rabbi Marc Berkson of Congregation Emanu-El B'ne Jeshurun of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, classic c1 limited special edition case for apple iphone 7 and 8 - grape But when families ask if they can FaceTime a graveside service, he always gives his blessing..
After all, funerals help the living grieve; technology simply allows them to participate no matter where in the world they are. For the funeral homes and other houses of worship that do livestream funerals, the comfort it provides mourners is well worth the effort of making sure they get the cameras and audio right. St. Monica Catholic Community in Los Angeles, for example, uses robotic cameras to capture and transmit video without disrupting the service. (It also often employs a human director.).
Berkson, classic c1 limited special edition case for apple iphone 7 and 8 - grape too, says his congregation has embedded cameras in the walls so that it can stream funerals and other events, "Nine times out of 10, the family wants to do it," Berkson said of streams, "They're deeply grateful that they're able in some way to hear and see the ceremony in real time."In addition to streaming funeral services, some organizations, like the Coats Funeral Home in Clarkston, Michigan, go a step further, leaving a recording online for 90 days for playback, Many also record the memorial and give families a DVD they can play at home..
"Sometimes it's days after or weeks after the [funeral], where you're in the space where you can remember that experience and think about everything that was there," said Dan Houze, who coordinates Saint Monica's media ministry. "Sometimes the words that were said are forgotten."Once we realized it was an option, streaming Grandma's memorial service felt like a lifted weight. Suddenly, we could focus on celebrating her memory instead of on the ins and outs of our DIY broadcast. But at my grandmother's graveside, where there was no streaming setup, I remained torn. Should I fully submit to the emotion of the moment? Or capture it on Skype to help others bid our beloved Grandma goodbye?.