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High-Tech Way to Cope with Death

A South Korean virtual reality (VR) company has recently undertaken the challenging task of reuniting a mother with her deceased daughter in VR. Jang Ji-sung wanted to see her 7-year-old daughter again, who she lost to blood cancer in 2016. It took the company almost a year to create the simulation. The documentary on the project, titled Meeting You, aired in South Korea on February 2020. A segment of the documentary has more than 20 million views on YouTube.

Nineteenth century inventions like the photograph and motion picture were heralded at the time as preserving life after death and declared as “man’s triumph over death.” VR resurrection allows the mother to “touch her hand, and they float into the sky to a twilight-toned afterlife.” The daughter falls asleep “after telling her mother that she’s no longer in pain. ‘I love you, Mom,’ she says.” The mother’s emotions are real. She later described the experience as a “wonderful dream.” The daughter’s character and personality were developed through extensive family interviews.

Psychologists and ethicists caution, “We just don't know the psychological effects of being reunited with someone in this way. ... Is it a one-time opportunity to enable closure or do you then prolong that relationship? ... The story strikes me as very much high-tech spiritualism with all the potential for fraud and deception that used to be associated with fraudulent mediums.”

Possible Preaching Angle:

Belief in the death and resurrection of Jesus is the only true comfort for grief and the only true hope of reunion with loved ones (1 Thess. 4:13-18).


Stacy Liberatore, “Korean TV show uses virtual reality to 'reunite' sorrow stricken mother with her seven-year-old daughter who died in 2016,” Daily Mail (2-10-20); Violet Kim, “Virtual
Reality, Virtual Grief,” Slate (5-27-20)

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