Nowadays, when something significant happens in our lives, one of our first reactions is to share the news online. From a new job or promotion to a new relationship or engagement, we share this news with our online followers.
But what about life’s not so pleasant moments, like the passing of a loved one? We’ve talked about social media etiquette for announcing a loved one’s death, but what about grieving online? Although everyone grieves differently, some people are more comfortable writing their feelings rather than saying them out loud.
This is why many mourners take to the internet when coping with a loss. They may share social media posts about their loved one, write messages on an online memorial wall, or post to their personal blog. But the internet is a public space, so it’s important to consider your followers who also are coping with the loss.
That’s why we’ve come up with these tips for grieving online and how to honor and remember your loved one while still being respectful.
Grieving on Facebook
Keep the message positive when writing Facebook posts about your loved one. Don’t say anything negative or disrespectful about the deceased. Focus on the happy memories you have with the deceased and share a story with everyone. Or just write about who your loved one was and how they positively impacted your life. You could post on significant holidays such as their birthday or just on a particular day that you’re missing them a little extra.
When creating posts, avoid over-tagging people and make sure you’re not overwhelming your followers with posts. Remember, everyone grieves differently and continuously receiving tag notifications and seeing posts may be too much, especially during the early mourning period. It doesn’t mean you can’t share posts about your loved one; just be mindful of your followers. It may help to create a private space to share your thoughts and save specific ones for social media.
If you’re posting on social media about your loss, you’ll likely receive some sympathy social media messages from your followers. Check out this article for tips on how to respond to sympathy social media messages.
Grieving on Pinterest
Another way social media can help with grief is by creating a grief Pinterest board. It may sound strange at first, but Pinterest is for pinning life hacks, home renovation tips, craft ideas, and other useful tips — so why not grief tips? You can pin healthy ways to cope with a loss, grief poems, songs or quotes, grief resources, and other helpful information for your grief journey.
You also can make it a collaborative Pinterest board with your family and friends to share ideas. Or if you’d rather have it completely private, you can make a secret board.
Grieving on an Online Memorial Wall
Another way you can grieve online is by posting on an online memorial wall. For example, Frazer-powered funeral home websites have a social Tribute Wall. Here, family and friends can share messages, photos, and leave symbols in honor of their loved one.
This is a great way to share photos that others may not have and would want of their loved one. You also can share memories of the deceased that you think others would enjoy. Just make sure you don’t share anything that may offend someone.
Grieving on a Personal Blog
Your personal blog is another place to share your grief and memories of a loved one. You can write blog posts about your grief journey and your relationship with the deceased. If you’d like, you also can share them to your social media accounts. Or you can keep your blog posts private if you’d rather keep them to yourself.
If you don’t have a blog, you can start one that focuses on your grief journey. You may even become a grief resource for others coping with a loss. Hearing stories from others going through a similar experience can help them with their own grief journey.
What are your thoughts on grieving a loss of a loved one online? Share them in the comments!