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Facebook helping people deal with deaths of loved ones

By Randall Jeppesen  |  Posted May 13th, 2009 @ 9:49am


SALT LAKE CITY -- More people are turning to social network Web sites as a way to get through their grief when someone passes away.

Julie Hanks recently had some distant family members pass away, and she's one of many people that turned to a social networking site to express love and sympathy and to stay in touch with those affected by the loss.

"I've actually gone and watched the video montages and sent messages," she said.

She's also a licensed social worker and director of Wasatch Family Therapy. She says writing things down on a site to memorialize a loved one can be beneficial because it causes the person to take time and reflect about what they want to write. But she says it shouldn't be the only way to grieve.

"It doesn't take the place of actually attending the funeral of people who are close to you," Hanks said.

A study in the Journal of Adolescent Research found many people write messages on a deceased person's Web pages for months after a death.

Hanks says the online memorials that receive comments for years are a good way to keep a person's memory alive.


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