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Teachers College, Columbia University
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You've Got Mail

"I can't imagine how it would be beneficial to people," said George Bonnano about Mylastemail.com, a service that allows persons to send up to five e-mails in the event of an untimely death. The professor of counseling and clinical psychology weighed in on the after-death message service. "It might be very creepy," he said. "There's a certain animated quality we imbue with these things--computers. To some extent it might feel like that person is trying to contact you."

Bonnano, who has spent the past decade studying how people deal with grief, noted that the e-mails might allow people to organize their thoughts about dealing with death, but does not promise that they would grant closure for survivors. "There's a tremendous variability in how people deal with the issue of a death of someone close to them."

The article, entitled "Messages From Grave Go to Kin Via E-mail," appeared in the December 8 edition of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

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