How to handle grief on social media.

 “There’s not much anyone can say when someone dies. Your options:— “I’m sorry for your loss.”— “My condolences to you and your family.”— “My prayers are with you during these times.”— “He’s in a better place.”It’s all very nice. It’s what we’ve been programmed to do. But to actually have it meant for you is a whole other feeling. I’m not sure when people will stop saying it to me. And I can’t tell you when I’ll be okay with hearing those words either. So until then, don’t be sorry. Just be there. That means more anyway. “

Suffering the loss of a loved one is hard.

Suddenly they are just not there anymore. It’s heart wrenching, painful, inexplicable and incredibly terrifying.

You are still figuring out what to do with everything you are feeling. What will you do with their belongings? What will life be like after they are done?
There is so much noise all you need is some time alone, or with close friends and family.

This may not have happened to you.

Maybe its happened to someone you know and love. 

How can you lend support?

  • Do not post about their loss on their Facebook wall, or tweet about it unless they have done it first. Its overwhelming enough to have to deal with what is happening than have them get hundreds of notifications about their loss, from people they did not inform. It is their right to let the world know what they are going through.
  • Call them. If they cannot or will not pick up then they have a reason. It means so much more to hear someone’s voice expressing their condolences than a tweet or wall post.
  • If you are unable to call, please direct your condolences to their email address or Facebook inbox. Better yet buy a card and mail it to them. When the dust has settled, your card/email will be read and appreciated. 
  • Allow them to grieve in private. Allow them to reach out to people on social media if THEY do it themselves. Do not be the one that pours salt on the wound by bringing up their grief for all to see.Its not a popularity contest of who wrote the best heartfelt message on social media.This is about being respectful, being compassionate and placing yourself in their shoes.
  • If they are in your vicinity get involved, go to their house, do some cleaning, make some coffee, take care of the kids, take out the trash. Show your support by being there, not writing a facebook wall post. Actually be there.
If you have found yourself on the receiving end of unwanted attention on social media due to the death of a loved one, I hope you can realise that people do not know how to handle situations like death.

It may not have happened to them, and reaching out on social media is a convenient way of expressing condolences. 
For some it is also a way of not getting too involved as grief is such a private thing, and maybe they think ‘ I don’t want to be in the way, I’ll just leave this post here.’ 

If anyone has hurt you in that way, reach out and let them know.

You can only do better when you know better. Some people may not know better.

the poignant quote above was from this post

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