S4E49: How to Preserve a Life through Digital Memorials

People are more frequently choosing cremation over burial and in doing so, raises the question of memorialization. Digital memorials are the current answer to how to keep our memory alive without a gravesite to visit. The available options seem only to be limited by our imagination and the current technology available.

In this Episode:

  • 00:00 – Our Sponsor: Tree of Life Memorials and Digital & Stone
  • 00:20 – Intro
  • 03:52 – John Green’s Paper Towns
  • 09:18 – Recipe of the Week: Southern Fried Cabbage
  • 11:02 – Interview: Digital Memorials
  • 44:51 – Outro

Our Guest: Caroline Jones with Digital and Stone

Caroline Jones talks about her journey to found DigitalandStone and the important role her services play in our digital world.

DigitalandStone and the Tree of Life Memorials was created to build an emotional and spiritual bridge between the grieving and the departed by elevating a traditional funerary monument and infusing it with soul and meaning. They built this service to help you connect with your loved one through the beauty and comfort of nature, creativity, and the essence of a story well told. Their hope is to help you in your grief journey by connecting you with the eternal legacy of love.

What types of digital memorials are currently available?

Land memorials (conservation, tree planting), stone memorials (fine art at a gravesite or for a group), and multimedia presentations such as online walls, websites and tribute videos.

Why are QR codes used in digital memorials?

A QR code plaque on a gravestone, which leads to a digital memorial
A QR code on an object such as gravestone, sculpture, or tree can lead to a rich digital memorial for an individual or community

QR (“quick response”) codes can keep track of information, and map networks of social relationships over time, and link people to information about the deceased. The code can lead to detailed personal profiles, including biographies, photo and video galleries, and interactive tribute sections. As long as the QR code technology remains viable, people can scan the code and learn about the deceased, preserves the legacy, and makes it accessible to future generations.


Related Content:


Charlie read a poignant section from John Green’s Paper Towns is a coming-of-age story about a group of teens weeks away from their high school graduation. This reading occurs toward the end of the book as the lead characters talk about a dead body they found as young children of a man who had committed suicide.

“It would have been nice to tell him that, whatever it was, that it didn’t have to be the end of the world. Although in the end something kills you. When I’ve thought about him dying, which admittedly isn’t that much, I always thought of it like you said, that all the strings inside him broke. But there are a thousand ways to look at it: maybe the strings break, or maybe our ships sink, or maybe we’re grass, our roots so interdependent that no one is dead as long as someone is still alive. We don’t suffer from a shortage of metaphors, is what I mean. But you have to be careful which metaphor you choose, because it matters. If you choose the strings, then you’re imagining a world in which you can become irreparable broken. If you choose the grass, you’re saying that we are all infinitely interconnected, that we can use these root systems not only to understand one another but to become one another. The metaphors have implications.

I like the strings. I always have. Because that’s how it feels. But the strings make pain seem more fatal that it is, I think. We’re not as frail as the strings would make us believe. And I like the grass, too. The grass got me to you, helped me to imagine you as an actual person. But we’re not different sprouts from the same plant. I can’t be you. You can’t be me. 

Maybe it’s more like you said before, all of us being cracked open. Like, each of us starts out as a watertight vessel. And these things happen, these people leave us, or don’t love us, or don’t get us, or we don’t get them, and we lose and fail and hurt one another. And the vessel starts to crack open in places. And I mean, once the vessel cracks open, the end becomes inevitable. But there is all this time between when the cracks start to open up and when we finally fall apart. And it’s only in that time that we can see another, because we see out of ourselves through our cracks and into others through theirs. When do we see each other face to face? Not until you saw into my cracks, and I saw into yours. Before that, we were just looking at ideas of each other, like looking at your window shade but never seeing inside. But once the vessel cracks, the light can get in. The light can get out.”

- Segment from Paper Towns by John Green 

Recipe of the Week:

If you are observing Lent, this recipe for you, with a small tweak. Just exchange liquid smoke for the bacon, and you’ll be sparing yourself those indulgences! Head over to Southern Living for the recipe!

Get this recipe for Southern Cabbage from Southern Living

Our Sponsors:

A tree with the words Digital and Stone

This episode was sponsored by The Tree of Life Memorials and Digital & Stone – a new platform to create digital memorials, environmental legacies and fine art monuments. Share the Stories, preserve the memories, conserve the land, connect the Souls…. because Love never dies. Find out more at https://www.digitalandstone.com/

We are also selected as one of the Top 50 Grief Blogs on the Web!

From Everyone Dies:

Everyone Dies: and yes, it is normal!

Everyone Dies (and yes, it is normal) is a story about a young boy named Jax who finds something special on the beach where he and his grandpa Pops are enjoying a wonderful day. Pops helps Jax understand that death is a normal part of life. This book provides an age appropriate, non-scary, comfortable way to introduce the important topic of mortality to a preschool child. Its simple explanation will last a lifetime. Autographed copies for sale at: www.everyonediesthebook.com. Also available at Amazon

Mourning Jewelry
mourning jewelry earings

We offer a way to memorialize your loved one or treasured pet with a piece of handmade jewelry.  When people comment on it and the wearer can say for example “I received this when my mother died” which opens the conversation about this loss. All our jewelry is made with semi-precious stones and beads, vintage beads, and pearls. You can choose between earrings or bracelets and the color family. Learn More

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