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Where did the idea for LifePosts come from?

Steven Waldman
My wife is a funeral director (having formerly been a magazine writer). A few years ago, she kept coming home with stories about the remarkable people she'd buried or families she'd worked with. I'd invariably ask if there was an obituary I could read. No, she'd usually say. No obituary. I became obsessed and started counting: in Brooklyn, NY, where I live, about 15,000 people die each year. I counted maybe 500-1000 people that got a little death notice somewhere. The rest just vanished without a proper recording. Finally, a lightbulb went on related to my previous work on the decline of newspapers in local communities. Eventually, I also came to see that there were similar problems in the proper capturing of celebrations too. And then finally I got to the optimistic spot of realizing that the tools now exist to make it much easier (and more satisfying) to tell life stories.