Increasingly, life is being lived online. People form online communities based on the type of dog they prefer, their favorite kitchen appliance, or the age or developmental stage of their growing children. In these virtual communities, they find like-minded individuals who understand them, and this can be a very comforting thing. When it comes to grief, online support groups provide a resource that can be invaluable for those who have suffered a loss. But are you aware that people are finding grief support through video games?
Observe what happens when someone like Carrie Fisher or Leonard Nimoy dies. These beloved celebrities, whose images and voices have been captured on films and in video games, are grieved in a way that honors that legacy. When Carrie Fisher passed away, gamers gathered for an in-game vigil in Star Wars: The Old Republic. After Nimoy’s death, thousands of players showed up for online vigils in several games.
Celebrities aren’t the only ones honored this way. Online gaming communities provide support to those who are grieving, holding online in-game funerals for members of their communities who have died. Experts believe that this type of interaction provides a solace similar to that found when we gather for real funerals: closure to help people heal.
One grieving father took it a step further, creating a video game in memory of his young son who died from brain cancer. Called That Dragon, Cancer, it’s an immersive video game that tells the story of his son’s battle with cancer. It was a unique way for his family to mourn their loss while welcoming others into their story.
What’s the takeaway? Grief doesn’t have a prescribed path, and there’s really no wrong way to mourn your loved one. Everyone’s path to healing is different, and whether it’s a support group, a church, a strong network of friends and family members, or yes, even a video game, the important thing is to find a place where you can safely grieve as part of a community.
The Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese of San Jose is proud to be a part of the Catholic Community in San Jose, California. Committed to providing a sacred place where families can remember loved ones in a peaceful and hope-filled setting, we welcome you and your family to visit our properties and experience the peace of these prayerful places. If you have questions, we’re happy to answer them. We have three locations: Calvary Catholic Cemetery in San Jose, Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Los Altos, and St. John the Baptist Cemetery in Milpitas. If you’d like to know more about our properties, or you need to know where to send flowers, you can contact us through our website, or call Calvary at 833-428-0379, Gate of Heaven at 833-304-0763, or St. John the Baptist at 833-428-0379.