When we face the death of a loved one, we often find ourselves handling arrangements and answering questions we’ve never had to face before — all while we’re often blindsided by grief.
The people who launched these five websites all found themselves dealing with death and grief, and they couldn’t find the answers they were searching for. So, they came up with their own solutions. Here’s how they can help.
1. Lantern: For assistance managing details and logistics
When Liz Eddy’s grandmother passed away in 2018, the team at her grandmother’s nursing home asked her what she wanted to do next. She discovered she was completely unprepared to manage the process. She muddled through, but thought that going forward, there should be a better option.
She turned to Alyssa Ruderman for help, and together the two New York City–based women founded Lantern, a site that offers guidance to people before and after the death of a loved one. With Lantern, you answer four questions and the site creates a free checklist tailored to your needs. It steps you through funeral planning, writing an obituary, closing digital accounts, benefits eligibility and more.
2. What’s Your Grief?: For guidance through the grieving process
Everyone grieves differently, but it can be comforting to learn more about the process and how other people manage their grief. Litsa Williams and Eleanor Haley, mental health professionals based in Baltimore with more than 20 years of experience in grief and bereavement, founded What’s Your Grief? after each of them lost a parent.
The site offers a range of free articles covering topics like understanding grief, memorials, holidays, emotion, and types of grief. You can join ecourses that cost $50 or less and can help you navigate grief, explore grief through photography or journaling, and more. The team also hosts live events in Baltimore, and schedules webinars.
3. Grief Coach: For personalized, ongoing support after loss
Emma Payne of Seattle founded Grief Coach, a company that sends personalized text messages for one year for $99.
Payne lost her husband, and then a decade later lost his best friend. “After delivering the eulogy at my friend’s funeral, I was overwhelmed by the countless friends and family members who wanted to apologize for not having been there for me when my husband died. They were afraid, they said, and just didn’t know what to do. I created Grief Coach to answer the question of ‘I want to help, but don’t know how,’” she says.
Grief coach can help a person who is grieving, and can also send tips and reminders to friends and family. The text messages are delivered twice a week and on significant dates. They are personalized based on your relationship to the deceased and the cause of death if you choose to share it.
4. Give InKind: For answering, “Let me know if there’s anything I can do”
Laura Malcolm of Seattle founded Give InKind after her daughter was stillborn. Her friends and family wanted to help, but often didn’t know what to do. She found herself inundated with flowers. “I was asking people when they came over to rinse and wash the vases,” she says.
With Give InKind, you can consolidate a calendar, wishlist, and fundraising site all in one place, for free. Maybe you need pet care while you travel out of state, photos gathered to share at a memorial service or money to defray funeral costs. Your friends and family can access your page and connect with the help you need. The site is useful for people facing a health crisis as well as those who are dealing with the loss of a loved one.
5. LifeWeb 360: For keeping the memories of your loved one alive
Ali Briggs and Rachele Louis of Chicago founded LifeWeb 360, a multimedia scrapbook that helps people preserve the memories of a loved one. They were inspired to launch the site after the death of a friend’s brother — over time, the friend found he and others were losing their memories of his brother.
On the site, you can upload photos, videos, voicemails, and texts to your loved one’s LifeWeb for free. You can invite friends and family members to contribute their own memories as well.