We think of social networks and we think of Facebook. Post Facebook’s grand success, many other networking sites focusing on niche areas have come up but you wouldn’t have thought about this: a network dedicated to departed souls. No, it’s not supposed to be used by departed souls but it is meant to serve like an archive. Startup DepartedLife has an in-built social networking element that aims to keep deceased people alive in the memories of their descendants.
“My mother passed away in 2007 and I was really shaken up by her death. Gradually, grief gave way to the need to preserve her memory – I wanted to build an online monument to her. That was when I felt the need for a site like DepartedLife,” says Rahul Suri, founder, DepartedLife. Rahul has been an entrepreneur for the past 10 years. He suffered a brief setback after his mother’s death and stopped working for three years, and then started from scratch again. DepartedLife was born during the lowest period of his life. Rahul is assisted by Puneet Gupta, his partner and the team techie. The content for the website, marketing blurbs, newsletters, etc is handled by Amrita Chatwal, a freelance writer and editor.
Death is a universal concept. Everyone has lost or will lose someone very dear to them. And in order to make memories tangible there is a need to take help of something that reinstates the same feelings and memories. DepartedLife enables the coming generations to get in touch with their roots and know them better.
Rahul goes on to add that although a few such portals exists in the US, till date there has not been a single dedicated website for such an endeavour. “More importantly, none of the other similar websites have a built-in social element like we do. Not only can you log into the portal with your Facebook ID, but once you’ve made a profile commemorating a loved one, whatever you do on DepartedLife (post picture(s), video(s), offers flowers, light a candle) it comes on your Facebook timeline. You can also invite all your Facebook friends to converse on the departed soul profile. It’s like a small memorial service held online,” says Rahul.
The DepartedLife team is waiting for a benchmark traction, after which they plan to introduce newer options like giving an individual the option to make her own profile which her descendants can see once she is dead. On a concluding note, Rahul adds, “Upload a will, a video, a speech or a confession – anything that you want to leave behind for the world to remember you by.”
It’ll be difficult to judge how people would take in this concept (especially in India) but we’ve seen stranger things happen on the internet. Give it shot and see if it appeals to you.