Grief and Social Media
When Evelyn died, we did the normal thing, we called family and close friends to tell them of our loss. What about everyone else? Between the family, there were literally hundreds of people who needed to know about Evelyn, about us, and how and when to pay respects.
We turned to social media. In the hours after her death, and the media had released her name, I posted on Facebook about our loss. We received hundreds of private messages and comments on our loss. People expressed what Evelyn had meant to them on our Facebook pages as well as Evelyn’s.
Social media played a large part in the celebrations of Evelyn’s life. It enabled us to plan important events like her funeral services and remembrance gatherings. Using Facebook’s event planning features, we could easily update people on the dates and times of events, what to expect, and in some cases how they could help.
Additionally, I found groups on Facebook for people who were going through or had been through the grief process too. I have made several lasting friendships with people from these groups. The groups have been a fountain of support and resources for someone with my belief system going through tragedies such as ours.
Using Facebook, I was able to create locations for her final resting place in the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery and for her memorial tree at Lake Poway, so people could check-in and maybe share a story about Evelyn.
We were able to collect and share hundreds photos from our family and her friends to help remember her life. We were also able to share or re-share never seen photos from her early childhood and her years growing up. Many of her photos can be seen on Flickr and on my Facebook photography page.
Because of the eternal nature of the Internet and social media services, those photos, stories, and videos will always be there to help keep Evelyn’s memory alive.