Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Facebook as Comfort

For all the scrutiny that social media gets, I have found it can be an effective grieving tool. In particular, I have used Facebook to connect to other mourners who miss Warren.

Over the past four years I have posted memes, photos, memories, and thoughts to Warren's wall. Within minutes I get likes and sometimes comments, that remind me that I'm not alone in missing him. While there are times when seeing other's people's happiness can be painful, for the most part, I found relief when browsing my timeline and his. We shared dozens of friends and those friends still sometimes post on his wall, and it lessens the loneliness of missing him.

When I post something to his wall, it feels like I am sharing something with him. It sounds weird, but it gives me a place to share with him. There are still so many things I want to show and tell him, and his wall allows me that space. I realize it's public and many see social media as a shallow means of communication, but it also provides a visual place where I can see his photo, read past posts in his own words, see what others have said to and about him, and it makes me feel more connected to him. 

Along with comments and shared memories, there are several grief forums that I see through Facebook. Many of them post beautiful poems about missing a loved one, or articles about grief that have helped me understand that what I experience is normal. Some of the things I've learned from these forums are things that I wouldn't even have thought about exploring, but upon learning, was able to make many parallels that have been informative and helpful.

Even though I'm a lover of words, grief often stole my words, or maybe they just weren't part of my lexicon. Either way, there are times when I can't find the appropriate words to express my pain, longing, loneliness, fear and sadness. It isn't enough to say I am sad, hurt, miss Warren, feel lost and broken. When I say that, I don't always feel understood. But, through some of these forums I find partners that make the load bearable. As mentioned many times on this blog, grieving often feels as though I do so in a silo, especially as time passes and life goes on and I see how much has changed since his passing. Posts serve as a reminder that while it feels lonely, I am not alone. 

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