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A New Project Launched in the UK Today: Digital Remains

On May 20th 2014, Mórna O Connor, an Irish colleague and a friend, sent me an intriguing proposition: to take part in developing an RLO - a Reusable Learning Object - dedicated to Digital Remains. 

Thanks to Morna's hard work the RLO is now online. It launched today, March 2nd 2016, which marks five years since my brother, Tal Shavit, was killed, and is dedicated to his memory.

Q:  What is this? 

"The resource is a Reusable Learning Object (RLO) that’s freely available online. It is a short interactive resource about what can be left digitally after death, how this can impact on the bereaved and what we, as members of the public and providers of health services, can do to better deal with this issue".
Q: How did it come into being? 

"The resource evolved from consultations with bereavement care staff about the role of technology in modern bereavement and grief. These care workers were uncertain about what can be left digitally after a death, why this differs from physical remains, how it impacts the bereaved, and what we can do about this issue. So, we invited these bereavement care professionals to participate, along with you, death studies academics from The Sue Ryder Centre and technology developers from HELM to create a resource that gives an introduction to these ideas and raises awareness about the modern experience of bereavement and grief.  We think it will be helpful for anyone who works with bereaved people and those at the end of life, and of course for members of the public. We all need to become more aware of the range and implications of what we leave behind digitally after death. We hope this RLO will be a step toward doing this". 

Mórna O Connor researches death, dying and bereavement and the role of technology in health. She has just begun a PhD exploring the digital-age experience of bereavement.She is part of both The Sue Ryder Care Centre for the Study of Supportive, Palliative and End of Life Care and Health E-Learning Media (HELM) research groups at the School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom. And she is also the narrator of the RLO! 

I have to say I envy her for having partners in the UK to collaborate with on such a project - just as I envy James Norris for having partners in the UK to collaborate with on his project (Digital Legacy Association: websiteFacebook page).  I wish and hope I shall find partners for such collaborations in Israel too. 

I know that in both cases, even with their partners, neither of these two projects would have come into being without their leadership, vision, hard work and dedication, and I am very grateful I got to play a part, however small, in them both.

Please feel free to share the RLO with friends, family members and professionals working in counseling, end of life support, palliative care etc. 

Thank you Morna for the terrific work you've done and doing, for helping to not only raise awareness to these important issues but for creating actual tools to be used in this regard, and for pulling through through all the technological obstacles you faced while accomplishing this. 

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