My Bereavement Stories on Medium

Tom Nickel
4 min readSep 8, 2021

I host Saying Goodbye

I didn’t train for this, I’ve grown into it on the fly and it has expanded me

A Year of Saying Goodbye

A Year of Saying Goodbye

March 26, 2021

It was pretty obvious that we’d all be losing so much so fast we wouldn’t be able to keep up. Wouldn’t even be able to Say Goodbye the way we’d want to and need to.

Someone would just get irritated and tell you to stop being Debbie Downer.

A lot of people just need permission; that’s the part I figured out in late March, 2020 when I started organizing and hosting events in the only place we could be close — a virtual reality place, with its superpower of shared presence.

Just to make sure it was completely clear, I named the event Saying Goodbye.

Skye’s Beautiful VR Funeral

Skye’s Beautiful VR Funeral

October 24, 2020

Reverend Jeremy Nickel presided.

He knew Skye well. She has been a central figure in the EvolVR community for several years, which is decades in VR-Time.

He began the ceremony with a loving appreciation in the tone of someone who knows how to do this. I am drawing attention to the reverential spirit to be completely clear to anyone who has never been in VR — this felt right. It felt like someone’s funeral.

Remembering RBG in VR

Remembering RBG in VR

September 23, 2020

Also in Buddhism, Keoki said, there is the concept of rebirth. Some take it in the literal sense, but nowadays western Buddhists tend to think of it as the way our actions determine what arises in the next moment.

When I think of RBG and rebirth, he said, I think of every woman who pays her own credit card bill in her name. Who is able to establish a credit history. Every woman who will sign her name on a property deed. Every woman who signs her own consent form for a medical procedure or plays in a sport.

Each of them was in RBG and RBG is in each of them.

Toward Infinite Resignation

Toward Infinite Resignation

August 7, 2020

Man, he said, I’m here in New York, you know, and I’m a Yankees fan, big Yankees fan, the biggest. But now, you know, wow, I’m home every day and spending time with my wife and my four year old boy, it just feels great, it’s the best feeling. I don’t want to go back. I have to work so hard, long commute. I hate thinking of doing that again.

It’s just so amazing how everything stopped, just stopped, and we get this chance to look around and wonder what the heck, you know. I don’t know what I’m going to do.

When Someone You Love Dies

When Someone You Love Dies

July 22, 2020

Especially when people are so busy protecting themselves or denying the need to protect themselves, no one even cares about one little death in a world where everything feels like it’s dying.

How is anything ever going to matter again when the one person who mattered more than anyone or anything is just gone.

This Week in Berevement

This Week in Bereavement

July 2, 2020

We hear about mental health issues from being cooped up for months — I think mental health issues were a major factor in daily US Life before the Coronavirus.

Well, here’s one small thing anybody can do to help settle the past and be prepared for the future. Say Goodbye.

Death Q&A: Saying Goodbye

Death Q & A: Saying Goodbye in VR

June 7, 2020

We don’t tend to allocate a lot of space for Bereavement and there is a great deal to grieve for.

We are also pretty good at distracting ourselves from our own dying, but Death is really in our face these days and it’s much harder to swat away than usual.

I have created events for both of them. Bereavement and Death. Death and Bereavement. Other People Dying. You Dying.

Where Will They Hold the Funerals?

March 22, 2020

We were conducting ceremonies for the dead hundreds of generations before we figured out agriculture and started living in settlements. I don’t know what gatherings will be considered essential in the coming months and beyond. I do know that marking death together has very deep roots.



Tom Nickel

Learning Technologist focusing on VR, Video, and Mortality … producer of Less Than One Minute and 360 degree videos