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What to do with a members account when they pass away

Discussion in 'Forum Management' started by dvsDave, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. dvsDave

    dvsDave Well-Known Member

    So, I just found out that one of my regulars passed away.

    So, first step I did was to remove the email address so the account wouldn't get any other emails.

    So, what do you do when this happens? How do you respect the memory of the user? The user has thousands of posts and is well respected in the community. Heck, we haven't even broken the news to the community. I really am at a loss of how best to deal with this.
  2. Dakis

    Dakis Well-Known Member

    Geez, that's terrible. I don't know, but to me it doesn't sound proper to do anything without his/her family's knowledge/approval. So bearing that in mind, I'd probably wouldn't do anything at all. Then again, it would depend on the occasion.
    HWS, wickedstangs and whynot like this.
  3. whynot

    whynot Well-Known Member

  4. dvsDave

    dvsDave Well-Known Member

    I was actually thinking about giving the user a special membership or status, to denote that they had passed away. Have no idea how to phrase it.
    bobs409 likes this.
  5. Dakis

    Dakis Well-Known Member

    Why would you want to do that? I mean, as I said making that a public knowledge should reside with his family, that's my perspective.
  6. whynot

    whynot Well-Known Member

    No matter how you phrase it, it still might hurt.
    (R.I.P ?)
  7. dvsDave

    dvsDave Well-Known Member

    Another member actually broke the news already before we could. And seriously, you think the family is going to take the time to inform an online community that the member passed away?

    Please, I'm looking for advice from members who have actually dealt with this before.
  8. Amaury

    Amaury Well-Known Member

    Passed Away for a user title, perhaps?
  9. Motobaka

    Motobaka Active Member

    Something that says that he will be remembered?
  10. xIsabel38

    xIsabel38 Well-Known Member

    Had this happen to one of my very first sites. I don't know if you know what the black memorial type banners are but many organizations use it as symbol to morn and perhaps honor a member's passing. Baseball teams when one of their players die, police, fire department, etc...

    We had our site logo recreated with the banner which we put up every year on the anniversary of her death.

    We didn't delete her account or anything, we put her into a special usergroup called, "Beloved Angel". The usergroup gave her the "Beloved Angel" rank title and had a white glow effect if I remember correctly. It was meant to look sorta.. heavenly and she was the only member of that group.

    Back then that was on SMF or some free forum service such as proforums. I can't remember which. I imagine that now however with XenForo, you can probably and easily do a lot if you can imagine it.

  11. lazy llama

    lazy llama Well-Known Member

    It's a tricky subject but one that we've unfortunately had quite a bit of experience with. We've had 25 users, that we know of, pass away over the last few years.

    We have a "Deceased" usergroup which adds a black RIP usergroup banner to the user postbits and also prevents that account being used to post on the boards.

    We have an "In memoriam" sub-forum for tribute threads and we have arranged a grove of trees dedicated to those who have passed on.
    Users can, if they choose, contribute to the fund which adds additional trees to the grove.
    bobs409, dvsDave and wedgar like this.
  12. CyclingTribe

    CyclingTribe Well-Known Member

    From and admin perspective: remove the email address and turn off notifications on the account.

    If other members become aware and put up memorial threads we merge them into one and then moderate it heavily and deal severely with anyone who is disrespectful or negative. After a while the thread will naturally fade, at which point we lock it so that it cannot keep resurfacing (which can happen when people who've been away come back and bump it with an "OMG I didn't know" - opening up all the emotion again for everyone.

    Obviously if you knew the member - of if you want to respond on behalf of your community - simply post in the memorial thread to offer your condolences.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014
  13. Null

    Null Well-Known Member

    I think the best thing to do is to remove the email address/disable notifications and ability to receive PC's.

    Then just a simple Black/Dark Grey ribbon with 'R.I.P.'.
  14. EQnoble

    EQnoble Well-Known Member

    RIP Is something people paint on their rear window when they are mourning or remembering on occasion, or put in a tattoo in remembrance of someone loved. To me a usergroup called 'Eternal' with the same text on the ribbon shows the respect without putting death on your community's mind all of the time and is a better solution as far as account/usergroups go. In this respect any who may pass on or any who has separated from the community formally under honorable terms can be shown honor without divulging the exact terms.

    Like you said, this member was a regular and their postbit is going to be all over your forum in all sorts of places and while it is nice to show gratitude and respect that should not take precedence over keeping your community moving strong and I feel like RIP being on hundreds possibly thousands of pages can set a negative tone especially to newcomers to a site.
    dvsDave likes this.
  15. DirtRider

    DirtRider Guest

    We have a very close community and this has happened a few times to us in the past. We also have a "In Memory" section listed as one of our from areas. So what we do is post a memorial thread to this member in this area, so far we have only had positive feedback from family and friends. They are touched that their loved one was not just a random number on a place they would frequent often but a real person with real respect show to them. I will then also remove their email address and place a link in their profile to the memorial thread. We also have a special usergroup that we place them in showing the title as "RIP"
    lazy llama likes this.
  16. wedgar

    wedgar Well-Known Member

    I think I would announce that (name), a valid member of the community has passed away and lock the account. Perhaps in the custom title put 'In Memoriam February xx, 2014'

    Sorry you lost a good member.
    bobs409 and dvsDave like this.
  17. wedgar

    wedgar Well-Known Member

    In Memorium
    dvsDave likes this.
  18. bobs409

    bobs409 Active Member

    I've been wanting to do this for a few years now but never could find the right words. I wanted to put a special worded banner such as some suggested above but could never decide on what sounded appropriate. Still searching...

    I like the tip about the email. I never thought of that but will do that later today on the 3 known deceased members I have.
  19. HWS

    HWS Well-Known Member

    There is nothing to do. Some members may pass away and you won't even notice it.

    We deactivate user accounts which are not active after 1 year.

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