Thank you for being interested and taking the time to find out about the initial idea behind MuchLoved and our motivations for setting up the organisation. Below we have outlined for you a short summary of how it all developed:
‘The initial motivation’ by Jonathan Davies“In the mid and late 1990’s I lost both my brother and mother in quick succession. My brother’s death at the young age of 21 was in particular sudden, unexpected and overwhelming in shock.
I was keen to create some sort of online memorial to him, a legacy that could show many of his happy years and make it easy for his school and university friends in particular to view, make contact and to maybe help develop by sending in pictures and thoughts of their own. After some research I found however that there was no appropriate service available and I also felt that the technology and cost to create myself the type of tribute I wanted was prohibitive.
I was also very preoccupied emotionally with my own grieving and sense of loss and imagined that people in general were maybe not yet ready for embracing the idea of an online memorial. Then after a few years, my life started to move on again in a positive direction, with marriage and children, but the idea did not go away. In March 2000 I registered the domain name MuchLoved.com and a couple of years later started to meet with my friend and computer programmer Andy Daniels to discuss actively making the idea a reality”
‘Creating the Service’ by Founding Partner Andrew Daniels“The concept of MuchLoved always struck me as worthwhile and positive but when Jon and I first began to seriously discuss taking the project further, I was very concerned that it was an idea slightly *too* ahead of its time. Neither of us remembers when exactly we decided to set aside our misgivings, roll up our sleeves, and commit to the project but at some point in the dim and distant past we must have set down our coffee mugs, picked up our thinking pads and started scribbling in earnest. And there were a lot of scribbles...on a lot of thinking pads…
We knew that to create a service that had a really positive impact, the site had to totally focus on the needs of the bereaved person who would set up the site, the Tribute Guardian. And we knew the site would have to accommodate and express a range of emotions from grief and anger through to commemoration and pride. We knew that MuchLoved would be about people, both those being remembered and those remembering and it became clear in our minds that MuchLoved would need to be a charitable organisation; dedicated to helping people rather than to making profits.
Next we set to work developing the site architecture; laying down exactly how it would function and how we would deliver the service. Issues like security, privacy and collaboration. The task seemed to expand while MuchLoved seemed to bloom and blossom the more we worked on it. By 2005 we needed more expertise in design and web-programming and so we sought out like-minded partners who worked tirelessly with us to develop the service.
MuchLoved Version 1.0 was truly a labour of love, but after many long nights, late coffees and deep breaths (particularly during our final testing period) MuchLoved was finally launched, a day I shall never forget. MuchLoved continues to grow and develop everyday, but is now far more than just the sum of its parts. MuchLoved represents something different to everyone; it’s a community for some, a peaceful haven for others. To me, MuchLoved is simply a living testament to the depth and endurance of love. I really and sincerely hope that you find the service helps you and your family and friends, even in just some very small way.”