I seem to keep crossing paths with Kirsten Malone, even through I’ve never met her and, sadly, she’s no longer alive. I mentioned passing her memorial a couple weeks ago but at that point I didn’t anything about her. On Wednesday I discovered that my colleague Jeanne and her husband were friends of hers (David actually dated her for a time and appears on Kirsten’s very funny Love Resume. After passing her neighhorhood memorial serveral times and reading the links Jeanne sent me, she’s beginning to feel like a neighbor who I just missed meeting.
Jeanne pointed me to another obituary, a photo gallery, a memorial site, and a discussion board thread that documents the first announcement of her accident through her death (a page that has been visited over 9000 times in the last couple weeks). These sites remind me of Joyce Walker’s dissertation project, Standing at the end of a road: Death and the construction of cyborg relationships, which examined the phenomenon of online memorials, like the ones on http://virtual-memorials.com/:
works to explore the intersections of bereavement rituals with the
technologies and tools of new digital media. The research includes
rhetorical analyses of the remediation of funerary practices through
relationships with digital media, and case studies of various types of
memorial web sites, including individually created sites, various free
and commercial sites for constructing and posting memorials, and sites
created to commemorate the September 11th tragedy.
Her project won the dissertation prize at the Computers and Writing conference this year.