Computers have become a staple in the lives of human beings, such that it is difficult to imagine that there was a point in time when they did not exist. In an effort to remain current with technology, some funeral homes have incorporated the use of technology in how loved ones say their final farewells.

The Toronto Star  recently featured an article about a funeral home that allows distant loved ones to say goodbye by watching the funeral service being streamed over the internet. It sounds eerie, and certainly, there will always be concerns about internet security, but for Brantford trooper Larry Zuidema Rudd, who died when a roadside bomb exploded, having an online funeral service allowed more then 40 of his colleagues in Afghanistan to pay their final respects from their distant base.

The so-called “sympathy casts,” have been growing in popularity. Helen Zuidema, the mother of our fallen solider Zuidema Rudd, says that the sympathy casts have “brought our family together without them having to come here … they’re still talking about it months later.” Zuidema still scans the funeral site, along with its many photos, tributes and messages, about once a week.  “It brings back a lot of memories that you kind of forget when you are grieving,” says Zuidema.

For funeral homes, embracing the advances of technology has created an appreciation amongst loved ones, faraway friends and relatives, who can now be included in saying their final farewell.