Facebook and Grief

Facebook and Grief

I wrote last week about my friend Kristina that was suffering from Inflammatory Breast Cancer. It saddens my heart to say she passed away November 8th at 12:45AM. This is the first person that has been my age and in my inner circle since I joined Facebook. What amazed me was how much Facebook helped us all during her final days and in the early stages of our grief. At the end,Kristina was very ill and hospice was in her home. However, people logged onto her Facebook account and read her posts we left. We were all able to share pictures we had of and with her, great memories and things we celebrated about her uniqueness. Upon her passing, I was amazed at how quickly; we her friends were able to communicate our grief with each other. People spread out all over the US and the World came together on our high school site and on each other’s pages to celebrate her life. As we grieve the loss of our friend, Facebook has been an incredible support. People up at 2am communicated with each other about a shared loss and struggled together to grasp how a 40 year old woman full of life could be taken from us within 6 months of being diagnosed. Through the tears there was much laughter and great memories. Soon, many of us had changed or posted a picture that really captures Kristina’s zest and zeal for life and remind her of her incredible laughter. People then began to say goodbye to her through posts on her page. I was amazed at how helpful it was too many of us to have this space. Years ago, before Facebook, some of us would not have known she had passed, some would not be able to participate in group support due to locations and we would not have all had a chance to brighten her last days. I also look at her page and think this is a great place for her daughter (who is only 4) to visit someday and read how important her Mom was to all of us. How full of life and love; and how she shared that with all of us. We can work to keep her alive in conversations but something about this site being present and the amazing stories, poems, songs, movie clips, pictures, etc. posted shows a fuller picture of who she was and each of her relationships. I’m finding this connection to be a living and expanding tribute to my friend to be such a comfort. To express grief in a new way and have it be positive experience is amazing.

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