Anthony McGrath, a Plymouth, Mass., teenager shot by police after an alleged robbery attempt in January, lives on — online. As others have for a growing number of teens who died young, McGrath’s friends and family have established a memorial Web page at MyDeathSpace.com. It features a newspaper article about his death and photos: one of him offering a sly smile as he lounged on a living room couch, the other at his funeral as he lay, wearing a Patriots jersey, in a casket, a bundle of red roses across his stomach.
Such online tributes are reshaping the way many people deal with death. Web eulogies, tributes, and memorials — offered by such sites as MyDeathSpace.com, Legacy.com, Memory-Of.com and MySpace.com — are an accessible and therapeutic way for people to remember deceased friends and relatives. “It’s another example of the Internet transforming our society,” said Hayes Ferguson, chief operating officer of Legacy.com. That site charges $29 for tributes. Others are free. Many of the deceased featured on various sites have young faces–teenagers or twenty-somethings who have died suddenly and often tragically.