In January, I lost my baby brother Bennie, but his Facebook profile is keeping him alive for all of us who adored him.
Bennie happened to have an addiction to Facebook, and now we’re really thankful he had that habit!
His status updates always made me chuckle — as did all of his friends.
Throughout the day, folks would certainly look forward to what my brother, the comic wordsmith, would have to say, on not only his own Facebook profile but on the walls of any one of his 300 friends.
Comical updates of either made-up quotations or personal anecdotes would pepper his page, and Bennie would check his Facebook account at least 50 times in the course of his busy day.
No matter how swamped he was at work, or whether he was traveling for business, he’d always manage to squeeze in a moment or two for social networking.
Barely a week ago marked six months since Bennie’s passing away, and we all still can’t believe he’s gone — but is he really? Bennie’s Facebook account is still very much active, and every day, friends find comfort in keeping his spirit alive.
I make it a point to visit his page a few times a day to post updates and to read the writings of friends, who still cherish Bennie as if he were alive. No somber ramblings from mourners can be found on his Facebook page; you only see only uplifting conversational threads, as if Bennie were still among us.
Writing on Bennie’s Facebook wall is therapeutic for those of us who have been left behind to grieve. But I, for one, thank God for the social networking site. Because of it, Bennie only seems to be away on a business trip.
Friends still post uplifting pictures on his page as well, tagging him in pics that have made me laugh until my stomach hurt. We still get to see Bennie’s humorous updates that sometimes appear on the right side of our landing pages every now and then which seem to breath life into him again.
We won’t tell Facebook memorialize his account because we believe this would be too final a move.
And believe it or not, after six months, not one sole has unfriended Bennie which speaks to the beauty of his persona. For us, he still lives through Facebook.
Grieving is a personal and highly individual experience. Healing happens gradually; it can’t be forced or hurried. The bottom line is that there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Facebook is helping us all to mend our broken hearts with the loss of a son, father, husband, brother, uncle, friend, co-worker, who was a phenomenal, phenomenal man.