Expressing grief online becomes more common
As our time online increases, social mores about bereavement are changing.
a year ago, my grandmother got sick. In early January, she died.
I can remember many of the details of the hospital room, the funeral home, the two trips to South Texas, the expressions on the faces of family members as we began to understand that she wasn’t going to pull through.
But it probably says a lot that I didn’t have any recollection of who I might have been talking to online those weeks, what I tweeted about her death or who offered their condolences via social networks. Though I spend lots of time online and do most of my communicating with family and friends there, I know I felt very conflicted about what, if anything, to share on the Web about it. It all suddenly felt too personal, and I worried about being tacky by appearing to seek sympathy from people online, or hurting the feelings of family members by oversharing with people who never knew her.
I recently looked back at my Facebook Timeline from earlier this year and was surprised by what was there. I made a mention that we were saying goodbye to her for the last time. A week later, I posted a link to my grandmother’s obituary. If you took those two Facebook posts out of the mix, you would never know anything had happened. The rest of my timeline contained the usual assortment of silly jokes, links to tech news, Instagram photos and random meme material.
And a month later, I wrote a lengthy blog post on my personal website expressing more
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