The best thing ever invented. The internet. How it has changed all our lives. I am a grandmother of three amazing grandchildren. My two youngest grandchildren live out of the state; how awesome it is to open Facebook and see their shining faces. Their daily lives and all that I am missing out on. Thank you social media for changing the world.
But we live in a 50/50 world my friends. 50% positive and 50% negative. We would never know that good without the bad. The internet with all its social media sites can be a real source of joy, education or discomfort when you are in pain.
Like anything in this world there are certain rules that we must follow out of respect. Period.
RULE # 1
You are never allowed to post someone’s death on any of the social media platforms until someone from the immediate family has posted first. When Donovan died the first post went up on Facebook exactly 40 minutes after he had died. We did not even have a chance to get to the grandparents yet.
RULE # 2
Whether you are grieving or know someone who has just died, think about what you are going to say before you post it. Remember many of the family and friends will be finding out for the first time on Facebook. It does happen. And it can be very jarring. Be kind and respectful. What details are you comfortable sharing? Is the immediate family ok with you making a post?
RULE # 3
Allow the immediate family to decide what they would like to do with the deceased persons social media accounts. That is not your say. Some family members choose to take them down. While other family members choose to memorialize them. Do be ok whatever they decide to do with the site.
Also, very important for all families deciding to take down your love one’s site. Remember do not make any major decisions in your grief. When you decide to remove that page, this will be forever. You can decide to just block the page so that you can not see any of the post that are still occurring or them memories that are popping up.
RULE # 4
If you as the griever choose to post about your loved one from now until eternity it is 100% ok. If your friends and family do not like it, they have the choice to block you. That my friends is their choice.
Something happens when a friend or family member dies, we in society decide that we know that exact amount of time that it will take for the wife, mother, husband or son to get over the loss. And if they continue to post after the allotted amount of time then we think they are being dramatic.
RULE # 5
Do not create a memorial page without the family’s permission. Once you have the permission do know that this is an amazing way to get out all the information about the celebration of life or any special instructions for the services. Most important to rule # 4 is that you must assign someone to over see this page for the entire time that the page is up. It can be extremely over whelming for the family to have to deal with all of outpouring of love and condolences
Rule # 6
Do check in with grievers often. Whether on social media by phone or by text. Many grievers will have an experience of where is everyone. After all of the services are over, it is not uncommon for everyone to go back to their lives. We know that it was nice when someone would send a text or make a post of a great picture of Donovan or Austin. Someone grieving may also be less likely to reach out, feeling pressured to “be ok”, and fearful of burdening those close to them.
Rule # 7
When responding to a post of your friend or family that may be experiencing grief it is perfectly ok to say the following…
There are no words
If I were near you, I would give you a hug
I can’t even begin to imagine what you may be experiencing at this time,
My heart is breaking for you
DO NOT SAY
I know how you feel
I know man my grandmother died 3 years ago
You will feel better soon
Hang in their friend
Before you post I encourage you to be mindful and aware of your language and word choice so that so that your message conveys your intended sentiments. ~Sharon
We teach people how to grieve. And we can teach you as well