More people using facebook to grieve loved ones - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

More people using facebook to grieve loved ones

Grieving and healing is changing dramatically because of facebook. Grieving and healing is changing dramatically because of facebook.
Specialist James Burnett was killed in Afghanistan in November 2011. Specialist James Burnett was killed in Afghanistan in November 2011.
Maegan Jensen lost her daughter Abby to a rare form of brain cancer last summer. Maegan Jensen lost her daughter Abby to a rare form of brain cancer last summer.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

These days people are turning to facebook to stay connected, even beyond this life. It seems technology is even changing the way we mourn.

Grieving and healing is changing dramatically because of facebook.     

Heartland families dealing with recent loss say facebook is making it easier to move on. 

Specialist James Burnett was killed in Afghanistan in November 2011, but his stepmother Cheri Burnett says facebook allows family to keep his page and his spirit alive. It's something that helps them heal. 

"Facebook has helped me because I did write him every day.  Because he liked to receive mail and now I can put it on facebook.  I picked up a pen and paper today and I had no where to send it," she says.

Cheri says she's moved to see friends and strangers constantly offer thanks and appreciation for his service 

She also showed us pictures of friends she's made through facebook.  It was people that were close to James in his unit. And, people who know him best that were with him hours before he was killed in November.

"It's really neat because it's a journal of Abby's journey it's nice because we can go back and look at see things she did we forgot and laugh," said Maegan Jensen. 

Maegan Jensen lost her daughter Abby to a rare form of brain cancer last summer.

 From her diagnosis to her final days, facebook helped them document and share her story. 

"It's nice to only have to say something that hurts one time and not have to say it and hear comments back and people heard the message," said Maegan Jensen. 

When Abby died in July, Maegan says the support online was key to their healing. And she was especially touched when so many people remember Abby's birthday in December. 

"It was really neat on Abby's birthday, and it was her first birthday after she passed, and I knew there would be message," said Maegan. "But I didn't know how many to go back and read those,  she would've been tickled . 

Now facebook helps Jensen express her passion to fight childhood cancer, and their family is putting together a 250 page book all from facebook posts for Abby's sisters. 

"I think because she is still so much a part of our everyday life and when we put it on facebook it helps remind other people some of the lessons she maybe taught them." 

And yet another page is in memory of Kyle Phelps, a Delta, Mo. teenager who would have graduated next year.

His mom says she is touched to see people constantly posting on his page.

It's a caring bridge, and other sites continue to change the way people grieve. 

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