Grieving the Loss of Online Friends….

 

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As We get older We come to expect the loss of Friends and Family. It is an inevitable event. We gather together with those who knew and Cherished Our lost Loved ones. Tales are shared of days gone by….school days, first loves….Weddings, Births, Anniversaries, and so many other Special moments that have passed. We Grieve that the time has come to say Good Bye.

How tho, do We Grieve for online Friends; who We have so few shared memories with?   In a time where Technology has become a part of the everyday landscape, lending a whole new dimension to Friendship,  it begs the question,  “how do We grieve for those losses”?  Many We have not, and Never will, meet face to face!  But, that doesn’t mean that We do not share Beautiful moments, and events with them.  Ones that are just as Special as any We have shared with Our Real life Friends!  I know so many people whose trials, successes, failures, and life events, have been lain bare to those they’ve befriended  online!  Trust has been built in these relationships. They can be quite Real and Honest.  Genuine feelings are shared.

When that day arrives that You log on to Twitter, or Facebook, G+, etc. to find a message in Your inbox, or see a post in Your Timeline, that someone You have come to like, love, or trust, has left this World; how will You react?  What effect will it have on You…..and how will You Grieve? You can’t  look to the rich History You have shared. The Tapestry is not the same!  Touching the lives, reaching out,  to their Family and Friends is not always an option. Will You find Comfort? Does it make Your pain and loss any less real?

I’ve spent a Great deal of time thinking about these things, after losing a couple of My own OL Friends.  And I know that this is something that will come up more often, as time goes by.   If a Friend just disappears from the Landscape of Our online platforms, should We be concerned….should We start to make inquiries?  And How will We deal with what follows?  It would be nice if there was a way to collectively gather, so We could share memories of those We lose!   Though the Canvas will be smaller, there is still a picture we can paint.  Feel free to comment…. I’d really like to hear from some of You on this subject.

 

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4 thoughts on “Grieving the Loss of Online Friends….

  1. Such truth here Ellie. I find such strength and support from my online friends. The problem I sometimes find though is that I feel a need to be constantly entertaining and uplifting rather than always reflecting the way I’m feeling through my online sharing. Life has been very difficult and painful of late so I have tended to shy away from the online spotlight rather than share which has, perhaps, been a mistake, but it’s the way I deal with things. Thank you for bringing this to light and for being such an amazing lady – and dear friend x

    • Yes, it’s difficult when You are online. Nobody wants to be the Harbinger of Doom and Gloom, so We try to stay upbeat and positive. But I think something gets lost in this adherence to proper online etiquette. It isolates those who need to find support, comfort, and understanding. And it leaves Our online friends unaware that We are unwell, physically, mentally, emotionally. With Collin McKenny, I had had a whole ongoing conversation in Messages with Her, up until the day before She passed; and then She was gone. Her dog Bandit had passed away a few days prior. She thought He’d been poisoned. The last message I had from Her was, “Thanks, Ellie ~ I caught a cold so I’m feeling kinda lousy. xoxo” Then She was no more. I miss Her to this Day. And I am grateful that Her Family was vigilant in letting Her online Friends know what happened to Her! After writing this, I did find one article from Jan of 2010 in TIME, that addresses this subject.
      http://content.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1951114,00.html
      And, I thought, Hmmmmm, does this really help people grieve tho? I have encountered people who are left feeling bereft every time they encounter those still active pages. Thank You too Sarah for being the Amazing Woman that You are….and a Fabulous Friend to Me and so many others! And Thank You more for stopping by and reading this, and taking the time to comment! XO

  2. You bring up very good poignant points, dear Ellie. I think we will craft some customs to help us gather (online) at these times, but as with any loss, we will always be left feeling a little helpless and unfinished. xo

    • Yes Gina, that is how I felt about Collin. I lost 4 in quick succession, and it left Me to ponder how others were dealing with this, and what arrangements people were undertaking to have closure, ie: closing accounts, saying goodbye, ushering themselves out. All these things may not be pleasant to think about; but in a digital/tech age, they must be! XO

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