Letters to My Tutor…

My dearest Simone,

Toward the end of last year, I had a thought about my deceased friend. It flashed momentarily in my mind that “maybe it was his time to go.” I have no special connection with the meaning of those words, but they were often spoken around me growing up. I take the passing thought as some indication that I have accepted his death more fully as those words were often spoken in that light. And though I don’t necessarily feel this way on a conscious level, I wonder whether that flash of words spoke from my subconscious.

Recently, my phone was reset to a much earlier point, a point when my friend was still alive. Looking at my recent calls I was confronted with the record of our daily call routine. I was happy for the reminder. I continue to wonder how recent technologies may affect how we grieve and how we think about the dead. An acquaintance (with two young children) who lost her husband often “speaks” to him using his account on a social networking site. I wonder how children who experience adults in grieving through use of social media may come to view death and/or grieving differently. I’m reminded of the show Caprica, in which one of the characters promoted the view of heaven as a location in cyberspace.

I still feel uncomfortable with the idea of using social media as a grieving medium. Others post to my friend’s social media page on his birthday and at other times, but I feel held back from that. I did take comfort reading some of his last postings after his death though. He had thanked a bunch of people individually for their birthday greetings to him. When an acquaintance committed suicide, it was surreal to read his final and somewhat cryptic words on his social media page particularly during the moments of uncertainty when some were still hoping that things would turn out alright.

Perhaps I should interview people as to the role social media has played in their grieving process. I certainly look forward to reading the studies that I am certain will be done in this area.

Ever yours,