Okay, a little humor to start things off. For a lot of people, Facebook’s “On This Day” feature can be a fun way to look back on things you’ve done over the years. For many of us, who have been on Facebook for eight years of more, it can really wow you. Seeing pictures of the kids when they were much smaller or reliving holiday memories is special…screeeeeech!
Then, THEN, you open it up one day and there are posts from the day your father passed, your mother, your husband, your….you get the picture. I do know that you can omit certain times from this feature, but not many know about it and it’s not readily noted. For a lot of people, there is not just the day they’ve lost someone they loved, but then there are their birthdays and holidays where they are in past pictures. There are plenty of people who just say, “Well, then don’t post that sort of thing” or “Then don’t use Facebook” etc.
For many people who have been through tremendous loss or tragedy, Facebook and other social media can be a way to keep connected with long distance friends and family and see photos and experiences from them that they might not otherwise be able to. So, it is a two-sided coin really.
Alright, just a little more humor. I just keep finding them! This feature can actually be useful so you can erase all the photos and delete the tags with them. Even if you are no longer friends, the tags remain. When I broke up with Satan’s prodigy earlier this year, I found this feature quite useful to get rid of the pictures of them and the tags that show up!
On a more serious note…after losing so many people in a short period of time, you are sometimes better for seeing these posts and photos. At the time, it may not seem like a good thing, but if we didn’t want to see pictures of our loved ones, we wouldn’t take them. I’m one of those people who grew up with a camera happy mom. All the pictures used to get on my nerves when I was teenager, but now? There are over 100 albums, chronological from the time she was young all the way through to the week she left us. It’s quite a stunning collection.
The rest of my family isn’t interested in them sadly. I’d hoped that one day, we would get together and digitize them (maybe on flash drives or CDs) and disseminate them to everyone in the family. There are so many photos of us all over the years. My expected reaction was not to be. I live in my parent’s former home now, so I have all the albums. I look at them from time to time and it truly transports me to other times in my life.
Yeah…this is true. Pain also changes each of us in a different way. Pain and grief is a very personal journey and our reactions, path, recovery (or not) are all unique to what we’ve been through and who we are. There is also no timeline for it either. I know people in many stages when it comes to dealing with grief. None are “wrong”, ever. While I miss those I’ve lost, I’ve been able to, through therapy and other help, get to a place where I’m doing OK. I’ve made really huge mistakes with trying to love again and I’m not giving up. Some people can never face it again and that’s OK. Whatever works for you. I highly recommend therapy for those who have access to it and are looking for help coping. It’s done wonders for me.
For me, the pain changed me in quite a profound way. I’m able to be more independent. First, not by choice, but now it’s just a part of me. I think having younger children when my husband died is a big part of that, but that’s the result of what I went through. Also, I didn’t have a lot of support over the years, so that factored in as well. It was “do it or it isn’t getting done” for the most part.
So, back to the original topic at hand. I think that a lot of people will say, “Well if it upsets you, then don’t *get on Facebook*”. It’s not that easy. A lot of my friends are there. As time goes on, we love and lose friends, family, pets and other major loves of our lives, but that is just a part of life. I highly recommend sticking around for the good stuff.