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Personal Use of Technology: A Memorial

My Father-in-law passed away this week. May he RIP.

With the family spread across the continent, my husband, the eldest, was the sole sibling who managed to cancel everything and hop on a plane to New York. So I used Net Ingenuity to create a safe place where everyone who had known my late in-law could comfortably communicate and participate in a tribute.

We invited all the relatives, the caregivers who had been with him in his final years and a few family friends to a tribute on Sunday morning via http://freeconferencecall.com.

At the appointed time, a dozen estranged people joined together to remember our dearly departed. Each of us was able to share our memories and feelings uninterrupted for up to 5 minutes. One of the spouses kept track of the time. Everyone voiced a unique perceptive on the man whom we eulogized. After an hour, when all had had their chance to share in this formal format, we shared a minute of silence in respect and then stayed on the line for another hour, brainstorming ideas for a more durable memorial and strategizing how to have a physical reunion next summer.

The eldest member of our tribe had never made a conference call in his 87 years. He and his wife were late in joining, but they couldn’t stop marveling at the discovery of many relatives about whom they knew little after decade of estrangement for now good reasons anyone could explain.

We easily recorded the call and can send playback and download instructions to all of those who were on it.

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