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Friday, November 8, 2013

Loss and Grief in Second Life: In Memoriam of all the John and Jane Does' who have Lost their Souls – Glossom Resident Reporting…

Life is made of gains, starting with the birth itself, and losses like death. 
There is no escape for the many events that afflict our souls, not even in Second Life. We create bonds of affection with other residents: friendships, relationships in love and in business, family. Yet, no one conceives that those same people who have crossed our path to give us a piece of them may not be there one day.

Loss can come in many shapes: a loss of a friend who has retired from Second Life; loss of a friend as the collateral damage of a fight, the end of love and, in the worst case scenario for being so definitive, death of the real person behind an avatar. Whatever the cause, loss always involves suffering. We can try to make amends with the friend with whom we had a fight, we can understand the reasons why a certain person left Second Life or even hope that one day he/she will return, but how can we cope with the loss of a loved one to death?

“On the death of a friend, we should consider that the fates through confidence have devolved on us the task of a double living, that we have henceforth to fulfill the promise of our friend's life also, in our own, to the world.”, -Henry David Thoreau.

When real life hits us with news of loss, words fall upon us like an earthquake shaking our world in a way never or rarely experienced before, and changing it forever. Surprise, sorrow and disbelief resume the beginning of a multiplicity of feelings and sensations that are part of the grieving journey. Coping with loss is a personal and singular experience. Nevertheless, we do not have to go through this alone. Our friends and second family can comfort us and help us in in numerous ways throughout the whole process.

There is no tutorial on how to cope with loss. Each person has their way of dealing with these extreme situations. However, we would like to share some guides that might make your journey a little easier:

- Inform friends. If you do not know how to inform the person’s contact list, use the social media, like the SL Enquirer to send the news;

- Allow yourself to mourn. If you repress your feelings they will hit you harder sooner or later;

- Do not isolate yourself. Friendship and love are powerful weapons to be used when we most need them;
- Gather common friends and celebrate that person's life by sharing memories;

- Join some support groups. These exist for those in need. “In Memoriam” is a second Life group for “when someone we've known in SL passes on for real, this group is here for your use to reach across the boundaries of groups and circles of friends, to get the word out and bring everyone together.”

- Organize a symbolic memorial service to say goodbye. Here is a list of places where you can hold the service:

Linden Lab’s Day of Remembrance Memorial Garden
“Dedicate a flower to someone you miss. Part of the Linden Memorial Park, remember those who've passed on.”

Second Afterlife Cemetery
“The Second Afterlife Cemetery is a place where you can make a memorial to a loved one from SL or RL…”

*~*Garden Of Sorrows*~*
“~ Where Wounded Hearts Are Cleansed and Reborn ~ Where Broken Spirits Find Solace~
May the shadows wrap their silence around you and keep you safe till the sunshine beckons you back to the dance once again.”

Tazzz Merlin Memorial Gardens
“All are welcome to enjoy this quiet garden. The garden is dedicated to the memory of our beloved Tazzz who died in rl on July 4, 2009.  Rest in peace you will be missed by all who loved you.”

Want to bequeath your Second Life account and its assets if you die in real life to a friend? Here is a link that will help you with that:

Ultimately, we all have a very special place in our hearts where our most loved ones live forever.

Safe Paths,



  1. So well writen, gave me the chills.

  2. Thank you for including the Second Afterlife Cemetery in your article. You did a fantastic job of getting across that it doesn't matter what life we are in, there is a need for a special place for those we have loved.


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