A Facebook App Can Help You Grieve

Cirullo.it Il Fatto Digitale da Mashable

One-Liner Pitch: Sanctri is a Facebook app for creating memorial pages for loved ones who have passed away.

Why It’s Taking Off: Facebook doesn’t offer specific tools to mourn, but with our digitally intertwined lives there is a need for a virtual destination to remember friends and family.

It’s probably happened to all of us. A friend, family member or acquaintance passes away, but the Facebook profile remains. Jono Milner, founder of Sanctri, had this experience. “It was the most bizarre feeling,” he says, describing how he wanted to post on this person’s timeline, but it felt strange. Then, someone did post on this person’s Facebook page — the mother. A number of people “liked” her post, which also felt weird, as the term “like” has a purely positive connotation.

It would seem that Facebook isn’t the ideal place to deal with death, but as a network that already connects communities of loved ones, it’s difficult to find a better platform on which to grieve. That’s why Milner decided to create Sanctri as a Facebook app, rather than a separate website.

On Sanctri, you can create a Sanctri for a person, or a community for a group (Remembering Grandparents, for example). You are then the admin for that page and can invite others to view the page or to contribute — your friends and family do need to sign up for Sanctri to be invited as contributors, but you can easily share the Sanctri link via Twitter, Facebook or email so they can opt in.

Along with the wall, where contributors can post images or comments, each page also has a Lifebook, which is essentially a digital scrapbook, split up into chapters, where you can add both text and images.

The prompts used by Sanctri ease users into expressing themselves. The app also includes a “moved” action to replace Facebook’s “like.”

It’s weird to “like” a funeral announcement, Milner says.

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