Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Good Grief

I've realized that this is the second post I will have posted today and I'm sorry about that. But when I get on my soap box, it's very hard for me to slip right off...

Tonight I'd like to bring up a very grave issue... DEATH. (I'm sorry, I really like puns of any sort. Bare with me, there will probably be even more.) Death definitely sucks. It's, like, the worst thing ever really because, well, once you're gone, you're gone. Unless you believe in reincarnation, which I don't. I do believe in angels, but that's a whole other topic. Anyway, I am no stranger to death. Death has kind of lingered around my family since my brother died in the '80s. All four of my grandparents had died by the time I was 21, two friends had passed away during college and several of my mom and dad's friends and family had passed on. Not to mention the countless souls of friends-of-friends who were lost over the years. Death is sad. Death is traumatic. Death is awful. But, unfortunately, it's inevitable. It never gets any better.

However, here's where my soap box really begins: What happend to good, old-fashioned grieving? What happened to slipping on something black, going to a funeral, having a good cry, sharing a good laugh about the person and then remembering that person in YOUR HEART forever. Maybe commemorate them with a tattoo or heck, maybe buy them a beautiful flower pot for the base of their gravestone. Maybe visit their family often or, if you live far away, write their family a beautiful letter about the person you miss each and every day. Or, do what I do, and think of those people often and say a little prayer for the friends and families of those people. Or, write a blog containing wonderful stories about that person, but please don't update me every 10 second how sad you are. Or write intimate details about the deceased on his or her Facebook wall. Not to be cruel, but that person will never be able to delete the things that go on his or her wall, so don't embarrass them in the afterlife!

Unfortunatly, social media has ruined the act of grieving. Now, I feel that grieving is such a public display that it loses all of its value. It seems as if people are trying to "show off" who knew the deceased best by sharing every intimate detail about that person on Facebook or on Twitter. I get it, you miss the crap out of that person, but why can't you shoot them a text message? Or, better yet, TALK to them. (Again, I believe in angels and I feel like angels can hear me when I feel like talking to them...but maybe I'm a minority.) Why must grieving be such a display? Today, a young soul from a neighboring town was lost today. All over my Facebook feed, young people were sharing their memories and "RIPs."

One person, who had bolted out of school today crying like they had lost her sibling (or so I heard), got on Facebook this afternoon to write on the deceased's wall. Then they changed their picture to one of them and the deceased. Then they wrote a status about how much they will love and miss the deceased. Not to discredit the grieving of the crying person, but I clicked on wall-to-wall interaction between the grieving and the deceased and there were only THREE Facebook interactions starting about eight months ago between the two. I'm sure it's very, very sad for the grieving person, but how well do you know someone in eight months? And, if you did form a wonderful friendship, wouldn't you write on each other's walls more than just three times in eight months - especially if you're going to display your great distress over their death all over Facebook?

I know people grieve in different ways. But people don't have to be so public about their sadness. Show some respect for the deceased. I know you will always love them, so act in such a way as to make yourself a better person for them.

And please, if I die tomorrow and I hear that you've read this blog and still write lots of crap about me on my Facebook wall, I will haunt you like Casper, okay? Do something nice and get my portrait tattooed on your forearm. I'd like that better. ha!

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