For the longest time, I could not recall the date of my brother's death and have yet to shed a single tear. I knew I needed therapy to deal with the grief, but ignored it. This ignorance has left me with a hole in my heart and soul that I couldn’t fill until now.
While developing Caroline PM Jones' site digitalandstone.com, I found a tool to help me deal with my grief over the death of my brother, Glen Alexander Joel.
Introducing Caroline PM Jones, Founder of digitalandstone
Caroline was referred to me in 2014 by my former business partner, client, and artist in his own right, Jeremy Kidd. For a few years, I assisted her with the maintenance of her SquareSpace site to promote her collection of sculptures, paintings, drawings, and other forms of art.
Then some time passed...
Fast forward to early 2022 when she approached me for advice on a bigger project she had in mind for her new company digitalandstone. We recommenced our working relationship and started developing a site to be proud of.
digitalandstone's Tree of Life Memorials
Caroline wanted to create a new digital space that would eternally connect people with those they’ve loved and lost. By capturing and preserving life stories, in addition to offering environmental and artistic memorials, the site would provide a death-positive approach to the end of life…because love never dies.
Over the next year we developed, and continue to develop digitalandstone.com. Maturing out of beta mode earlier this year, the Tree of Life Digital Memorial is now available to preserve the memory and life of a loved one, and help those who knew them, deal with grief that normally accompanies a loss.
More Than Just a Place to Leave Memories & Condolences
We have all left our sentiments, condolences, and memories for those who have passed on online. These pages may be provided by funeral homes and memorial services, and even can be found on threads of social media profiles. However, digital and stone take it to a new level.
The Tree of Life Digital Memorial allows you to create a “sacred space” that keeps your connection to a loved one alive. It’s the place where your story lives and grows. A celebration of life–your loved one's or your own–is seen through a multimedia presentation that is as engaging, impactful, and dynamic as the person it captures.
You can decide who gets private access to share stories, photos, videos, music, and more. The Tree of Life is the organizing principle that houses the Digital Memorial, providing a living celebration. As every story is added and every memory is shared, the connection to our loved one continues in this life and the next.
You can build a beautifully designed memorial with stunning templates and helpful thought starters that make it easy to capture memories and messages with loved ones by uploading tributes, photos, videos, music, voice messages, and other memorabilia, it’s essentially the preservation of life stories.
The Difficulties of Remembering Someone After They Are Gone
During development, I had to test and troubleshoot the site. What better opportunity would I have to bring my brother Glen Alexander Joel back into my life, than by curating an all-involved, digital memorial for him? This way we can collaborate on a project together again like we used to in the early days.
I thought that by being his only brother, tech-savvy, and having access to much of his life’s content of photos, lyrics, audio, and video, it would be easy to put together. Collecting all the media wasn’t that difficult, but I stumbled on writing stories and sharing memories about my brother.
All my memories of him were imprinted in my brain while he was living. I knew a lot about him, but all of it was stored away because I just assumed, as my younger, that he would outlive me.
It is sort of like discarding a box of letters and photos to the back of a closet, only to find them again, but have forgotten what was inside. Opening that box again and looking at the photo and reading the old letters, allows the mind to release all the memories that were stored away for as long as that box was stored in the closet.
Now that he is gone, the only "box" I have to sift through is what my mind can remember. With my mind and memory fading over the years and years, I have to reprocess everything and sit with that "box" open for a while.
With the help of family, friends, and now the services of Tree of Life Digital Memorial, I am finally able to reconstitute the image of my brother and begin to remember him as he was and then some.
A Tool to Help Preserve Memories & Deal with Grief
A Sacred Space to Write Stories
Tree of Life Digital Memorial provides sacred space to write stories about the loved one’s origin, childhood, education, vocation, loves, adventures, and of course their passing. Suddenly I was faced with the need to think about my brother in ways I had never thought about him before.
For the next thirty-plus days I would reach deep into my memories and pull out long-lost and forgotten memories that I have had with him in my life.
It seemed excessive at first, but this is when I realized I was dealing with something more than this preserving my memories of him. I was dealing with MY grief.
A Sacred Space to Share Stories
With each story I told, the memory of my brother and the essence of who he truly was began to, subconsciously for me, bring him back to life. I began to spend a lot of time with my brother, as he was front and center of my thoughts for the time to come.
I also engaged my family members, asking them questions about what they remembered so that I could construct the stories more truthfully and accurately. This engagement allowed us all to open up and share our collective grief, bringing the family closer together again. These stories became the stories of my family's collective memory of my brother.
A Living Digital Memorial
Once I completed the process of adding the stories, photos, videos, and quotes to his Digital Memorial, I shared his Tree of Life Digital Memorial with family, friends, and colleagues who worked with him over the years.
Not a day goes by when someone adds their memories, which triggers me to remember more of my own, encouraging me to update his page again and again.
With a steady flow of memories and photos being added, and with me constantly refining all his stories, it is truly a living memorial.
Even today, as I am writing this blog post, my brother Glen is in my thoughts and heart, thus his spirit and memory are alive for time to come. digitalandstone is giving me the therapy I have always needed.
Membership will be required to read all the stories, but it is free of charge.
Thank you, Caroline! You have helped me finally deal with the grief of my brother's passing.
If you have lost a loved one and need to find some peace in their passing, I welcome you to try digitalandstone's Tree of Life Digital Memorial.
Use promo code “paninari” for this complimentary service and click here to get started.
I value your experience and welcome you to share it with me so that we can better this sacred space for all.