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How do you respond to this type of Facebook post?


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Facebookers, tell me what you think.

 

A friend lost her mom to cancer about 2 years ago. She posts things on her Facebook updates like this:

 

"Mom, it's been 18 months since we last baked cookies together. You were the best mom ever! Love you and miss you!"

 

I do not want to be harsh or critical, but, nonetheless, this strikes me as really odd. How are 'friends' (she has over 500) to respond to her 'updates' of this nature? She is (sort of) 'writing' to her late mother on Facebook? But the 'letter' goes to all of her friends in their 'newsfeed.' :confused:

 

Do you respond to these kinds of things? Yes, I realize that it actually means she is missing her mom and wanting some comforting. But...isn't this kind of strange? What would you say? Would you give a phone call? Write back on her 'wall?' Am I over-thinking this? It just really throws me every time she does this kind of thing.

 

I am open to any/all opinions on this little Facebook etiquette issue.

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Yes it's awkward but you must never, ever object to it. The grieving get to work their way through the grief as they see fit.

 

Whether you post on her wall or send her an email doesn't matter. It would be a kindness to say something short, like, "I'm sorry for your grief."

 

If you feel so led and if you knew her mother personally, you could share your own memories of this woman's mother. You don't have to though.

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I lost one of my best friends in the world a little over a year ago. Her FB account is still up and sometimes I post things to her wall. Goofy? Maybe. But it makes me feel better.

 

Maybe this is just one way your friend keeps the memories of her mom alive. I'd just leave her status updates alone or be supportive. Never negative, though.

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One doesn't need to respond to each update status on FB. Nobody expects that, and if they do, I can't be their friend. ;) I certainly do not expect commentary on mine unless it's something that matters to you.

 

People deal with grief in their own way...and FB might be one way. Let her have that. If you feel inclined, or knew her mom, and you could say "So lovely you have those memories" or "Thinking about you" or "Your mom was always so kind to me" etc. If you don't feel anything, leave it. If it happens so much that it upsets you, you can manage your settings so that you do not see her updates.

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Sometimes I feel like posting a happy birthday to my dad or brother. (They are both deceased) It's really nice to have their friends respond with stories and such. I don't expect other people to understand why I'm doing it or to respond. Sometimes it's just about putting it "out there" and getting it off your chest.

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++ You can ignore it. No response required. If you feel supportive, it would be nice to respond with something like (((hugs))) or similar. Or even a private message with the same sentiment.

 

++ You can hide her from your newsfeed if you don't want to see her posts, i.e., if they upset you.

 

++ Everyone grieves in their own way. Some people want to talk, be reminded, etc. I don't understand why you feel the need to judge her. Maybe you have some pain that her comments bring up. . . in that case you can hide her from your newsfeed. But, if it isn't that. . . then I would wonder if you really like this person at all. It seems so cruel to judge someone who is grieving.

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As someone who has lost my mother, I will say that a simple "I'm thinking of you today." will suffice, if you feel the urge to respond. When a precious loved one passes away, it can be difficult to retain the connection to them. It is also a fear of some people's that their loved one will be forgotten, which is horrifyingly sad. A public anknowledgement of this sort can help the grieving person with both of these issues.

 

I have written things like this about my mother (though not addressed to her) on my FB status. It is my way of remembering and honoring her. It has not ever occurred to me that it would be bothersome to anyone on my friends' list.

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Her friends don't need to respond. She's missing her mother. They must have had a wonderful relationship.

 

My mother has been gone for 10 years, and I miss her every day. If FB had been around that long ago, I might have posted something like that, too, just because.

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I don't think it's strange. Ignore it, hit the "like" button or send her a hug. She's missing her mom, that's all.

 

 

:iagree: I would click the like button. Your friend is grieving! Different people do it differently. Its just her way of working through her loss! Maybe put a comment such as I am sorry for your loss, or remember the good times you had with your mom, or something similar!

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Her friends don't need to respond. She's missing her mother. They must have had a wonderful relationship.

 

My mother has been gone for 10 years, and I miss her every day. If FB had been around that long ago, I might have posted something like that, too, just because.

 

 

:grouphug: Me too. Mine's been gone 16 1/2 years.

 

I don't do facebook, but I think that's probably one of the sweetest ways of using it that I've ever heard. I don't think a reply would be necessary unless you felt particularly moved to do so.

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I lost one of my best friends in the world a little over a year ago. Her FB account is still up and sometimes I post things to her wall. Goofy? Maybe. But it makes me feel better.

 

Maybe this is just one way your friend keeps the memories of her mom alive. I'd just leave her status updates alone or be supportive. Never negative, though.

 

I lost a dear friend last year as well, and there is a group of us that still posts on her wall at times. I think it's part of the grieving process. I'm glad facebook still keeps us connected in that strange way.

 

To the OP: Someone with 500 facebook friends doesn't need you to post to each update. It's her page to do with as she sees fit. If she does it often enough to annoy you, I would hide her updates from your newsfeed. Otherwise, I'd just ignore it - the same as I do with all the other strange things people do on facebook everyday (I have one friend who shops craigslist ALL DAY LONG and posts her finds on her wall every 15 minutes. Now that, my friends, is odd).

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Nope. Doesn't seem odd at all nor does it require a response. It is just a way to remember the person, mourn their death and let others know that you might be having a rough day that day. My family has has had three deaths in the family in the past three years. We usually post something significant on their anniversaries each year. Certainly, clicking like or a short but sweet sentiment would be appropriate and appreciated if you feel so inclined but mostly they are doing it for themselves for the reasons listed above.

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My bro died 6 years ago this month. I posted "Hi Mark. It's your sister. Thinking of you." That's how I always greeted him on the phone--Hi Mark, It's your sister--which was a little joke because I'm his only sister and he recognized my voice.

 

Anyway, it's just a shout-out, and I don't expect replies. Sometimes our status in life is determined by others, and those kind of posts are just a round about way of saying we miss someone.

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I don't think it is strange either. FB is often considered a microblog where one posts random thoughts. She was thinking aloud about her mom - not writing an online letter to her. Does that make sense? I would probably put a "thinking about you today" under her post. I don't find it any more strange than someone posting a prayer of thanksgiving.

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My friend just lost her mother and I knew her mother well as my friend and I grew up together.

 

The mother's FB page is still up and I see all the family post on her wall, things like, "I miss you so much today Mom. I sat in your chair and thought about you.," or whatever.

 

I don't find it odd at all. In fact, I sometimes post to the poster, either responding to my friend or her siblings who post. I will write things like, "Thinking of you today." or "Wish I could be there to give you a hug."

 

Or I don't post at all.

 

Dawn

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I don't think it's strange. Ignore it, hit the "like" button or send her a hug. She's missing her mom, that's all.

 

:iagree: I don't think it's strange at all. I think it's sweet. This woman is sharing who she REALLY is with her friends. You have been given a glimps into the real her. Instead of posting how hot it is outside, or something else generic, she has shared her heart. I love that she did that. If she were my friend, I'd say something sweet like, "You were so blessed to have such a wonderful mother. Enjoy your memories." Facebook is a place where people can enter into real relationship if they are willing. I've grown so close to some of my facebook friends with posts like this. If you are uncomfortable with it, you can just pass over it. But it's not strange at all. I think it's wonderful.

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This is a fresh one for me, as some friends of mine lost their 19yo son in a car accident on Saturday night. Facebook has been a great place for everyone to "talk" through it all. Especially on his Facebook Wall which has hundreds of goodbyes now. My cousin also posts "Happy Birthday" and "Merry Christmas" to her baby who has been gone for 7.5 years. I always pray for her and remember her little guy.

 

My local news even did an article about him.

 

http://newsok.com/social-media-networks-help-family-friends-grieve-occc-student/article/3484189

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I don't think it's strange. On the anniversary of our mothers death, my sisters and I post pics of her and say how much we miss her. Our friends who knew her all loved her and post funny or sweet stories about her. No one is expected to comment. We all just celebrate her, blessed be her memory!

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Yes it's awkward but you must never, ever object to it. The grieving get to work their way through the grief as they see fit.

 

.

 

This is so true. There is a tendency for the world around to rebuke the grieving for how they are doing it and to impose a timetable on the grief. Unless your friend is not functioning in her daily life (ie if she has gone into major depression) then there is not a need to intervene in her grieving, except to come alongside with kindness.

 

The FB status says, "What''s on your mind?" and that might prompt these recollections, too. But be kind, and either ignore the status, or add a kind comment about her mom or about her grief.

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Yesterday would have been my son's 16th Birthday so I posted a picture of him and wished him a Happy Birthday. I hope that it didn't bother any of my friends!! I only do this twice a year (the other being the anniversary of his death) but that is probably because it has been 10 years. If it were more recent I might post more often about him...or not at all, kwim?

 

Like everyone has said, Facebook is a good place to say what I feel - makes me feel better that he is not forgotten.

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I agree it's not strange or odd. An old high-school buddy lost his daughter in a car accident a year ago. I didn't even know until he started posting "Happy Birthday! We miss you!" wishes on his wall. It gave me an opportunity to share my condolences, thoughts and prayers.

 

I treat my FB like a micro-blog... some of my posts are pretty strange. :D

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++ You can ignore it. No response required. If you feel supportive, it would be nice to respond with something like (((hugs))) or similar. Or even a private message with the same sentiment.

 

++ You can hide her from your newsfeed if you don't want to see her posts, i.e., if they upset you.

 

++ Everyone grieves in their own way. Some people want to talk, be reminded, etc. I don't understand why you feel the need to judge her. Maybe you have some pain that her comments bring up. . . in that case you can hide her from your newsfeed. But, if it isn't that. . . then I would wonder if you really like this person at all. It seems so cruel to judge someone who is grieving.

 

Yikes...

I'm not judging her.

I'm just surprised to see a Facebook comment 'to' someone who has died.

 

She's my actual, real-life friend. We talk about her mom's death a lot.

 

Facebook, for me, is something like another email account. I don't post personal stuff, and neither do most of my 'friends.' So, this sort of thing from her is always a bit of a shocker to me, and I was interested in how others might reply. I feel that a 'like' or just a 'hug' seems too impersonal for such a personal post of an actual irl friend.

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I don't think it is strange either. FB is often considered a microblog where one posts random thoughts. She was thinking aloud about her mom - not writing an online letter to her. Does that make sense? I would probably put a "thinking about you today" under her post. I don't find it any more strange than someone posting a prayer of thanksgiving.

 

This is helpful.

 

I don't use facebook this way, nor do any of the other 'friends' I have. So, these posts come across very strangely.

 

I don't see prayers of thanksgiving on my 'newsfeed' either, and didn't actually know people did that sort of thing on Facebook.

 

I see from the many passionate replies that I am not too clued in to the world of Facebook.

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OP here, jumping in to defend herself at least a little bit.

 

I do not dislike this woman. I am not rebuking her or judging her or imposing a timetable upon her grief. I am her actual friend -- we talk on the phone and have meals together and clean up the kitchen together afterward.

 

I am not someone who uses Facebook to work through personal issues. Neither are most of my FB 'friends'. So these posts written to her mother on my Facebook 'feed' are strange to me. I didn't think my finding it strange would be so strange to all of y'all.

 

My dilemma has been that, perhaps, on the days of these posts, I don't have time for a big phone talk about her mom, but a little FB reply or a 'like' seems (to me) quite puny and trite.

 

I see from all of your replies, that lots of folks don't find those FB replies to be puny or trite. But, replying in such a casual way feels almost disrespectful to me.

 

Apparently, I'm in the minority. I'll probably be staying in that minority, but I now have a new understanding of how people see Facebook.

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Yesterday would have been my son's 16th Birthday so I posted a picture of him and wished him a Happy Birthday. I hope that it didn't bother any of my friends!! I only do this twice a year (the other being the anniversary of his death) but that is probably because it has been 10 years. If it were more recent I might post more often about him...or not at all, kwim?

 

Like everyone has said, Facebook is a good place to say what I feel - makes me feel better that he is not forgotten.

 

:grouphug:

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Yesterday would have been my son's 16th Birthday so I posted a picture of him and wished him a Happy Birthday. I hope that it didn't bother any of my friends!! I only do this twice a year (the other being the anniversary of his death) but that is probably because it has been 10 years. If it were more recent I might post more often about him...or not at all, kwim?

 

Like everyone has said, Facebook is a good place to say what I feel - makes me feel better that he is not forgotten.

LIKE!

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I rarely respond to anything anyone posts on FB. I'm just not a good FBer, I guess. But it does not seem at all odd to me that someone posted something that indicates she misses her mother. That's what is on her mind, and why should she not post that if she feels like it? No one expects responses (I hope) to status updates. But missing someone we love it just a reality that some days we work around but other days we just want to acknowledge. It doesn't seem like something to private or intimate to say in public. "I miss you Mom" or "I miss my Mom" is just .... the human condition.

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Before I entered the land of ongoing grief and loss due to the death of my mother, many things would have seemed "strange" to me. I understand now. I never understood why people said that a loved one had "passed", for instance. Now I do. I was not able to say "died" in connection with my mother for about a year. It hurt too much. "Passed" was more acceptable to me for some reason. I never understood why people put newspaper ads in the classifieds remembering their loved ones with a picture of them. I do now. It is about honoring them and their memory.

 

Relationships don't end because someone passes away. The love doesn't go anywhere. Most big losses are ongoing. They may never fully resolve as people who have not experienced loss might to expect them to be. This is the club that none of us wanted to be members of and that it is very difficult to understand if you haven't "joined" it. Everyone joins at some point. For those of you who are not a "member" of the club of living in the world with an ongoing loss of a loved one, truly all that is really needed is a (((hug))) or an "I'm thinking of you.". After all, no one can say or do anything to "fix" this for the grieving person. All you can do is acknowledge the loss and provide love.

 

When I post something about my mom on my FB status, I am always brought to tears by any response, even a hug. It feels supportive and healing. Nothing can bring her back, but it is nice to know I have support in the loss and that there are people out there in the world who will remember her with me. Not everyone chooses to be so open with their lives on FB, and that is fine, but I don't find it inappropriate to post something about a loved one who is gone. If I read a status post and don't know how to respond, I either don't respond or just give a hug.

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{{texasmama}}. Your post brought tears to my eyes. As someone walking in those same shoes, I am often amazed at the profound sense of loss I experience. When someone simply acknowledges my mom, I am touched that someone cares enough to wade in the mire with me. I don't need big long conversations, just a hand to hold as I trip over those potholes of grief.

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Yikes...

I'm not judging her.

I'm just surprised to see a Facebook comment 'to' someone who has died.

 

She's my actual, real-life friend. We talk about her mom's death a lot.

 

Facebook, for me, is something like another email account. I don't post personal stuff, and neither do most of my 'friends.' So, this sort of thing from her is always a bit of a shocker to me, and I was interested in how others might reply. I feel that a 'like' or just a 'hug' seems too impersonal for such a personal post of an actual irl friend.

 

This is helpful.

 

I don't use facebook this way, nor do any of the other 'friends' I have. So, these posts come across very strangely.

 

I don't see prayers of thanksgiving on my 'newsfeed' either, and didn't actually know people did that sort of thing on Facebook.

 

I see from the many passionate replies that I am not too clued in to the world of Facebook.

 

OP here, jumping in to defend herself at least a little bit.

 

I do not dislike this woman. I am not rebuking her or judging her or imposing a timetable upon her grief. I am her actual friend -- we talk on the phone and have meals together and clean up the kitchen together afterward.

 

I am not someone who uses Facebook to work through personal issues. Neither are most of my FB 'friends'. So these posts written to her mother on my Facebook 'feed' are strange to me. I didn't think my finding it strange would be so strange to all of y'all.

 

My dilemma has been that, perhaps, on the days of these posts, I don't have time for a big phone talk about her mom, but a little FB reply or a 'like' seems (to me) quite puny and trite.

 

I see from all of your replies, that lots of folks don't find those FB replies to be puny or trite. But, replying in such a casual way feels almost disrespectful to me.

 

Apparently, I'm in the minority. I'll probably be staying in that minority, but I now have a new understanding of how people see Facebook.

 

I understand.

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I don't find it odd. People use Facebook for different reasons, and some are more comfortable sharing deeply personal information than others. If you want to make a simple comment like, "I'm sorry," or "Thinking of you," then do so. If you don't know what to say, then don't say anything.

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{{texasmama}}. Your post brought tears to my eyes. As someone walking in those same shoes, I am often amazed at the profound sense of loss I experience. When someone simply acknowledges my mom, I am touched that someone cares enough to wade in the mire with me. I don't need big long conversations, just a hand to hold as I trip over those potholes of grief.

 

:iagree:

 

Your post was very insightful texasmama.

 

My mom is still living but I have suffered two major losses: my grandma who was actually my mother figure and my daughter.

 

I know it's hard to understand the grief of others because it's so personal. For me, when I lost my daughter it felt like my world had actually stopped spinning. There were times when I wanted the rest of the world to just stop for a a second with me. I knew other people's world couldn't stop in the way mine had but if they could just stop for a second I felt a measure of comfort.

 

OP, I don't think it's odd that your friend posts what she does. It's just part of her grieving process. I know you aren't used to your friends posting things of this nature but this friend is. It's obviously helping her through the process if she's posting it. If she's posting it on FB then I would say you don't need to answer with a huge phone call. It would be appropriate to just put a short "thinking of you response." If that's the medium she's using then it's appropriate to use that medium to respond.:grouphug:

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