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Continuing social presence of the dead: Exploring suicide bereavement through online memorialisation

Bailey, Louis; Bell, Jo; Kennedy, David


Louis Bailey

David Kennedy


© 2014 The Author(s). The last 10 years have seen a rise in Internet sites commemorating those lost to suicide. These sites describe the life of the deceased and the afterlife of relatives, parents, friends or siblings who have been termed the "forgotten bereaved". It is clear that such sites have implications for continuing bonds and for what many commentators refer to as the continuing social presence of the dead.This paper presents interim findings from ongoing research which focuses on two aspects of suicide memorial websites. First, we explore the extent to which such sites help us understand how the Internet is enabling new ways of grieving and is, in effect, making new cultural scripts. Second, although there is a large body of writing on the management of trauma there is little evidence-based research. The paper draws on face-to-face interviews with owners of suicide memorial sites (family members and friends) and explores how the establishment and maintenance of such a site is an important part of the therapeutic process and how, for grieving relatives, making or contributing to such sites provides ways of managing trauma in the aftermath of a death by suicide.


Bailey, L., Bell, J., & Kennedy, D. (2015). Continuing social presence of the dead: Exploring suicide bereavement through online memorialisation. The new review of hypermedia and multimedia, 21(1-2), 72-86.

Acceptance Date Oct 1, 2014
Online Publication Date Dec 16, 2014
Publication Date Apr 3, 2015
Deposit Date Dec 16, 2015
Publicly Available Date Nov 23, 2017
Journal New review of hypermedia and multimedia
Print ISSN 1361-4568
Electronic ISSN 1740-7842
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 21
Issue 1-2
Pages 72-86
Keywords Online memorialisation; Suicide bereavement; Continuing bonds; Postvention
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Copy of article first published in: New review of hypermedia and multimedia, 2015, v.21, issue 1-2.


Published article (503 Kb)

Copyright Statement
© 2014 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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