is excerpted from the June 5th, 2008 edition of , a daily New Jersey
newspaper and also from Jersey Blogs (blogs.nj.com/jerseyblogs), a website
from the same date :
--What is icanpray.com ?
icanpray.com is a free website that allows people to realize
a unique form of closure when losing a loved one, family member, or friend. Visitors achieve this by e-mailing those
who have passed on through different categories presented in a tasteful manner.
--Where did the idea for the site come
from ? A very dear friend of ours had suddenly died while at work. We never had an
opportunity to tell him how valuable he was to us as a professional and how much we admired him as a person. About a
week after he had passed on, we thought it would help us if we e-mailed a "goodbye" to our friend on the company
server. Sad-to-say, it kicked back as undeliverable because they had already deleted his name and account. We
had wanted to tell him the things we had never gotten around to saying when he was alive, but now we can do it anytime and
anywhere on our computer, laptop, or i-phone.
--What happens to the posts after users
write them ? No posts are saved or stored. The messages are sent off, and we'd
like to think that they are forever "out there" in cyberspace.
--What sort of things do your users write ? We have no way of knowing that, but our web domain host provides us with monthly statistics that show
the most popular pages accessed by our visitors. As expected, these are the GOODBYE and CLOSURE pages. Our personal
favorite is the VOTIVE CANDLE page where people can enter names of the deceased to honor them in a personal way with a "cyber"
--Can you give an example of some memorable posts
from your users ? No, because total anonymity is guaranteed. The privacy of the message preserves the integrity of the website. Our
FEEDBACK page shows messages sent directly to us and we post them so that our visitors know they are not alone, virtually
--Any idea who your users are? What kind of feedback have
you gotten ? Thanks to the internet and the 13+ languages we offer through Google Translate,
icanpray.com's appeal is worldwide. However, the majority of our "hits" emanate from the U.S. with many visitors
signing in from Great Britain. All feedback generated through our homepage "guestbook" is positive.
Gratitude for providing an outlet for release and relief is the prevalent theme. Also, everyone loves the music provided by
our friends Rob Rolling and Jim Savitt from their "Leaving Footprints" CD.
--Has anyone accused your site of being sacrilegious ?
No, never ! People understand what we're trying to do. Think
about it. You have flowers delivered, Mass cards offered, candles lit, incense burned, and now, e-mails to those who have
passed on from people who truly miss them. In our hi-tech world, icanpray.com seems to be a natural progression in the healing process and the best part is that, unlike other offerings, our website
is perpetual and not temporary.
--Anything you'd like
to add ?
People have different stages of grief and various ways of dealing with it. We have
several more unique ideas that we will soon incorporate into our website that will try to address these needs because
icanpray.com will always be a work-in-progress...