A few months ago, I lost a sisterfriend, who was near and dear to my heart. She was an avid Facebooker and would constantly keep tabs on the status updates of her friends with glee. She was also a commedienne, and her up-to-the-minute comments would have us all rolling on the floor.
Now that my friend is gone, she still lives on, oddly enough, via Facebook.
My friend’s family members are well aware that Facebook admins can turn her page into a memorial and proof of death, while helpful, is not required.
Since a Facebook account cannot be removed due to inactivity, the deceased person’s profile can remain active until someone notifies the company.
Once you memorialize an account, the deceased person won’t pop up in “people you may know” suggestions or in search results.
The site also removes the memorialized person’s wall posts, contact information, and status updates, so no one has to be reminded about how often my friend and I loved watching the film There’s Something About Mary.
My friend has 303 people on her Facebook site. It has now been four months since her passing and not one person has unfriended her.
I visit her page each day, several times a day in fact and still, friends have continued to post comments, share stories and pictures, plus even hold one-sided conversations with her. She still receives pokes and offers to play games.
I too, am guilty of following suit, making it the first order of my day and to make sure, I keep her abreast of things that are going on around me.
Yet, I wonder, is there something morbidly voyeuristic about having an online presence, when someone is deceased? Is it possible that all 303 of us friends are psychologically twisted, choosing to continue a relationship with a Facebook ghost?
Again, we all have the option of unfriending my friend and yet, no one has, thus far. Does continuing to see a deceased friend’s page help with the grieving process, is it a cathartic coping mechanism? Does no one dare unfriend her and risk being looked upon, as an insensitive automoton?
Psychobabble experts say, that journaling is a good thing, so maybe writing on a deceased person’s Facebook page is a form of it and helps heal the hurt. Who knows, I’m certainly no Ph.D. but as far as I’m concerned, my friend lives on, for now….
Here’s to you, Bees!
Readers, have any of you lost a loved one and continued writing on that person’s Facebook page?