When a friend from high school died recently, the only source to what happened or way to express emotion was through Facebook. “R.I.P…you will be greatly missed” the first post on her page read. “OMG! What happened?” the next post quickly followed. No one knows what happened to our long time friend. It has been about a year since she moved to Michigan from Florida. All we do know is that people are posting that she has died and “she” has not reposted to say otherwise.
Posts of sorrow quickly turn to anger when one friend writes “All of you fake people with your fake concerns are getting on my nerves.” Apparently, he is sore because people are using Facebook as an outlet to express sorrow. The deceased mother quickly writes to inform the friend that she understands he is “hurting, but that is not the way to to treat others in this sad time.” The mother also returns to her daughters page to post information about the funeral location, time and date.
And this is when this article really gets sad. The sister of the deceased girl has taken up to Facebook for comfort as well. “I can’t sleep at all. I can’t stop thinking of you. You are my shining star. I already miss you so much,” she writes through numerous post. When I read her post, it is 11:00 a.m. our time, and she posted one of the statements five hours ago. This means she posted her “can’t sleep” statement at six in the morning. All I can think is poor girl. This has to be so hard for her to cope with, and yet here she is at six a.m. talking to her deceased sister through Facebook.
Never before in my life, at 26 years of age, have I found out about the death of someone I know through Facebook. As awkward as this is, it’s also nice to be able to talk all at one time to all your mutual friends, posting on each other’s post, re-acting to each other’s reactions, offering condolences, prayers and stories of times passed. Facebook may be a way to stay connected, but now I realize that it is so much more than that. Facebook has literally become a way to bare bad news while offering love and affection to all those affected.
Maybe soon enough there will be a Facebook Obituaries section where you can “post” on the casket of the deceased and bring them “flowers” via world wide web. I guess we’ll have to wait to see how that idea pans out. As for now, writing on that persons wall will have to do. I personally would love to check my account via heaven, but I’m thinking that, that is a far fetched idea.
Jessica Waters, “Facebook Obituaries” Associated Content by Yahoo!.