Death in the Digital Age…

My friend and former colleague, Deb passed away a few months ago after a long battle with cancer. She was just 42 years old, had such a zest for life and the cutest smile out there! Deb was a huge football fan and would regularly post her play-by-play analysis on Facebook as her beloved Philadelphia Eagles faced their opponents. She had a lot to say last season that’s for sure!
I miss Deb’s posts. I miss seeing her updates and reading her opinions on the players and coaches. I’d love to hear her thoughts on our new head coach and now what’s looking to be an impending quarterback controversy.
Deb is gone but her Facebook page is not. So I logged on and told her (in a sort of way) that football season just isn’t the same without her.
In fact, I have a handful of friends and relatives who have passed away but still have Facebook pages. I visit them every so often just to “check in”. And I know I’m not alone. Even though we know they are gone from our physical worlds, their virtual presence is comforting and helps to soothe our grieving hearts.
My husband never had a Facebook page, but during the time when his health was declining, I used my page to help keep everyone updated. Facebook became the best way to let friends and relatives know what was happening. It allowed me to spend less time on the phone and more time with him and our 2 young children. To some it seemed impersonal, but for me, spending hours on the phone giving grim updates that could have been easily overheard, was not how I needed to spend my time.
Honestly, I am glad that he never had a Facebook page because I don’t know what I would have done with it after his death. Some of my friends’ pages have been deleted, some have stayed the same, some modified and some have become platforms for causes and charities.
Recently, I came across an article in Reader’s Digest on this subject. “How to Die on Facebook” looks at three stories of families who faced death in this digital age and explores their very different reasons for the choices they have made. It’s interesting, thought provoking and offers some great tips on how to create special pages for your loved ones. Click on the link at the top of the page for the Reader’s Digest Article.

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