Death on Social Media

No, no… I didn’t actually mean “death *to* social media.” Although there are times when I would fully support that.

What I mean is, what about announcing a death in the family on That Certain Social Media Site?  My father passed away on Saturday, and I just couldn’t bring myself to put it in a status update. I don’t tend to put deep feelings out there on That Certain Social Media Site, you know? This particular venue, in my opinion, lends itself more to Wow! and Yay! and Can You Believe This One? than it does to the darker moments of the soul.

I do see that I may well be alone in feeling this way. In a sad coincidence, my friend’s father passed away on the same day mine did. And all of us have known for the past three years just about everything there was to know about the battle with cancer, and the treatments, and the waiting for results, and the final deathbed vigil, all on social media. I suppose getting everyone’s instant reactions and condolences was comforting to her. Also, it’s probably an easier way to let lots of people know instead of going through a list, phone call by phone call.

Well, I couldn’t do it. I guess I prefer the more gradual trickling-in of private messages, and emails, and handwritten condolence cards (my favorite) through the actual mail.

I’m not saying that either of us is right or wrong on this. It’s just interesting to me to have such a clear illustration of how differently people can feel about what they want to put out there on this particular site.

My dad’s memorial service, which is a public event, I somehow feel all right about posting. Partly this is because I can’t remember who asked me about services and who didn’t. Also, life’s larger events seem to require a lot of time on the phone, and I’m fairly well talked out and ready for a little more quiet. Although even now that I’m typing this out, I am dreading fielding all the comments that I know will show up if I choose to post this. So maybe not.

Aargh, I don’t know. I’m tired and I’m sad. And it’s kind of weird that I’m putting this in an anonymous blog entry but not on social media where people actually know me.

Well, so I’m weird. I like to do my grieving while I’m hiding.

Love you & leave you,

Hobbie DeHoy

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