How Mourning is Being Adapted for the Digital Age

AFTR Admin
February 03, 2021
How Mourning is Being Adapted for the Digital Age


Mourning traditions are as old as humanity itself. Like all traditions, they have changed and adapted throughout different cultures and time periods. In many cases, mourning traditions reflect current technological and sociological advances. For example, when photography went from an outlier technology to something accessible to the average middle-class family during the last decades of the 1800s, it became less common for families to commission expensive mourning portraits and more common for families to use photographs of loved one in mourning jewelry.

Our modern mourning traditions have come to reflect technological advances as mourning adapts to the increasing use of digital technology in our everyday lives. Most people have engaged in some form of digital mourning without necessarily realizing it, since it has become an acceptable and often cathartic method for people to express themselves after the death of a loved one. 

Digital Support Messages 

Digital support messages are a simple and meaningful way for friends, family and anyone else wishing to indicate their support in your time of grieving. Digital support messages are often featured on the websites of funeral homes and online hosted obituaries; they allow for family and friends to read touching messages of remembrance and shared grief. These support messages are also beneficial for those who cannot make it to a funeral service and express their support in person due to distance or other limitations.

Social Media Mourning 

Social media plays a large part in the everyday lives of many people in today’s digital-friendly age. We share our lives on social media--whether the moments we’re highlighting are happy or, in the case of a loved one passing away, something sad and somber. Posting about loss on social media allows for friends, family and supporters to share in grief and express support in a direct way without ever having to leave the home. Like digital support messages on funeral home websites or online obituaries, social media mourning allows people to come together and mourn no matter where they live. 

Virtual Graveside Visitations

Virtual visitations to a loved ones’ resting place has become even more prominent in recent months, but the technology for engaging in virtual visitations has been in development for years. Virtual graveside visitations allow you to visit the resting place of your loved one without having to leave your home. This opportunity is particularly beneficial to anyone with physical limitations, as well as friends or family living far away who may not be able to visit regularly. Virtual visitations also come with the unique ability to visit your loved ones’ resting place more frequently. With certain systems, such as the AFTR system, you can even talk, play music, or listen to the ambient sounds around your loved ones’ resting place.  

The above digital-age mourning traditions are just a few of the unique ways that we are now learning to celebrate and remember the loved ones who have passed on before us.