For many of us, pain is a devastating but inevitable part of our lives. Especially if it is the death of a child.
However, a mother in South Korea has used the
to deal with the loss of her 7 year old girl.
Jang Ji-sung's third daughter, Na-yeon, died four years ago because of an incurable blood disease.
A television production team spent eight months recreating a three-dimensional image of Na-yeon.
To do this, they used motion capture technology to record the movements of a child actor, which were then used to recreate those of Na-yeon and reproduce his voice.
They also designed a virtual park where mother and daughter met, based on one they had visited in real life.
The documentary is called "Meeting you", it was aired on MBC, a major television network, and had millions of viewers in South Korea.
The most exciting scene happened when mother and daughter "reunited."
Na-yeon's virtual recreation ran to his mother saying, "Mam, where have you been? Did you think of me?"
Between sobs, the mother tried to hug her daughter's virtual image while the producer team watched excitedly.
Other family members present were visibly affected.
"Meet" with dead loved ones
The producer spent eight months developing the hologram of the deceased girl and the stage where she met with her mother
The documentary has sparked a debate about the moral and psychological implications of "reuniting" with deceased loved ones.
While some believe it can provide relief, others think it prevents people from moving forward with their lives. Some have accused the MBC chain of taking advantage of the mother's pain.
A 10-minute video was posted on YouTube and has been viewed more than 13 million times with about 19,000 comments.
Some users expressed concern about whether the experience would bring more hopelessness and sadness to Ji-sung, while others wondered if the experiment was a "paradise or hell."
But Jang Ji-sung says it has helped. After the death of his daughter, Na-yeon's name was tattooed and he put pictures of her throughout the house. He wore a necklace that contained the ashes of his daughter.
In her dreams, the mother says that Na-yeon looked sad, but at the virtual meeting she was smiling.
Some psychologists consulted by BBC Korea said the experience could help Ji-sung deal with the trauma of losing his daughter prematurely.
"It is very useful for people who have suffered an unexpected loss to have a goodbye in conditions after deep pain," said Seon-Gyu Koh of the University Institute of Mental Health in South Korea.
Dong-Gwi Lee of Yonsei University told the BBC that both virtual and augmented reality have already been used in the treatment of anxiety disorders, phobias, dementia and depression.
A virtual reality project in the United Kingdom recreates the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 to arouse memories of elderly patients with dementia. As they seem to travel in time, they can remember memories buried in their minds.
However, Professor Lee believes that experiments that include virtual reality and pain need to be accompanied by therapy to prevent adverse effects such as increased feelings of loss.
A last goodbye
Some psychologists believe that the experience can help Ji-sung deal with the trauma of losing his daughter
The program director, Hyun-Seok Lee, told BBC Korea that the team approached the idea carefully, from the stage to the girl's complex, and that everything was based on Ji-sung's memories of Na-yeon .
Towards the end of the film, the girl offers a bouquet of flowers to her mother, then lies on the bed saying that she is tired. Then he tells his mother to love him forever.
The two say goodbye and Na-yeon falls asleep. Then it transforms into a white butterfly and flies away delicately.
The controversial case of a mother who reunited with her dead daughter with a virtual reality viewer – LA NACION