The Digital AfterDeath Digest — Week of September 12th, 2016

The Conversation Starts on Reddit

Snoo knows.. Do you?

We live in an era where loss and grief pervade both the physical and digital worlds like never before. Perhaps this happens nowhere else online more than it does on reddit!

So sit down, grab your mouse and join us this week as we show you how loss and grief are manifesting themselves on one of the most active websites on the earth — reddit.


What has 542 Million Active Monthly Users who are talking about death everyday?

The Wow

Answer? Reddit — the “frontpage of the internet”.

For the uninitiated Reddit is essentially a bulletin board system of everything new and popular online. And when we say everything we mean it. From an AMA (Ask Me Anything, with close to 24K comments) with the current sitting President to an even more popular reddit post from a 24 year old (26K comments) cancer patient with only months left to live.

The Now…

In early 2015 something magical happened with this commentSoon I will be gone forever, but that’s okay as long as someone reads this.” From this point forward loss and grief changed forever online thanks to 24 year old reddit user mylasttie.

This one person and his thoughts on loss, experience of dealing with cancer brought death into the modern social media and digital age. To this day it continues to be one of the most highly visited webpages online.

But, this is just the beginning. We continue to see people share stories of loss and grief every day on reddit. Here are a few recent posts that show how modern day grief is happening in the digital and social age. Take a few minutes to read the comments — they’re tragic, beautiful, heartwarming and an important view into how we grieve today.

My sister’s boss passed away several months ago, but before she did, she arranged to have this sent to her staff. — 915 comments

Mum and me c.1980 she passed this morning. Just wanted to say goodbye. — 2,737 comments

My Grandma, 96, with my Grandpa, 100, hours before her death this weekend. 77 years of marriage. — 1,347 comments

There are a number of sub-reddits focused on death, grief, and even funeral directors that are full of additional views into modern grief.

Your task: Spend some time on reddit this week, understand the conversations that are happening, and see how the social world is changing perceptions of death.

Have questions about reddit and what it means for you? Reply to this email OR tweet us @Mylestoned and will get right back to you.


Norbert Schemansky Record Setting Olympian,

Isabelle Dinoire First Face Transplant,

Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor Food Culture NPR ,

Anna Dewdney ‘Llama Llama’ Books,


“Little by little, day by day / One step at a time / Shake off the devil / Take back my piece of mind / I am recovering,” — Celine Dion

Bonus articles for Medium only:

Writing a ‘Last Letter’ When You’re Healthy

The Wow

The New York Times writes about the amazing work coming from the Stanford Palliative Care Education & Training Program that teaches people to write a last letter to their loved ones before they’re gone. Taking a very (very) simple approach they developed a free template for a letter that can help people complete seven life review tasks.

The seven prompts are:

  1. Acknowledge the important people in your life.
  2. Remember treasured moments from your life.
  3. Apologize to those you love if you hurt them.
  4. Forgive those who love you if they have hurt you.
  5. Express your gratitude for all the love and care you have received.
  6. Tell your friends and family how much you love them.
  7. Take a moment to say “goodbye.”

Some may call it the most important letter they’ll ever write

The Now…

For many, a good death means having the chance to say goodbye to loved ones and making sure to let them know what they’ve meant to you. But, it doesn’t mean it’s just an exercise for those close to death. Nope. Writing the letter, while young and in good health, may actually spur positive changes in a person’s life by opening up lines of communications between you and your loved ones. Take a chance and try it out!

True story. Every time you hit the ❤ below something good will happen.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.