I Am Mute With Grief; Let My "Like" Suffice

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 7.236% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

I remember when my friend Kat went into the hospital to have a tumor removed, and her husband Eric kept us posted via Twitter.  I remember at the time, not being on Twitter, that it seemed a little cold and distant, to let us know whether Kat was alive or dead via a 140-character broadcast.
Then I went into surgery for a triple-bypass, and I saw the other end of that; the deluge of requests, the constant phone calls, everyone’s worry piling up in a tide of messages that were just incredibly stressful for Gini.  All this love had a cost, and that cost was communication, and when Gini started posting updates on Facebook, I understood: this was a mercy.  She was near-unmanned by her concern for me.  Let her post once, so she doesn’t have to relieve this stress over fifty texts and phone calls, and give her more time to hold my hand, for it may be the last.
I survived.  My youngest cousin did not.  He had a terrible accident on Monday – on a pedal bike, of all things – and he died.  I’ve been kept in the know by my Aunt and my Dad, and haven’t said anything because it’s not my story to tell.
Finally, this morning, his sister posted a terse message to Facebook.  And I commented, as did at least fifty others, expressing loss and support and concern.  I was okay then.
Until I saw that she’d “liked” my comment.
I know what that “like” means.  It means, grief has stolen my words, and my time, and my energy.  Please.  Let this one click suffice to show that I saw what you had to say, and acknowledged it, and that’s all I can do right now.
Sometimes, social media is petty, and mean, and full of insults and childish vitriol.  But today, it’s a low-energy way of staying in touch at a time when I’m sure they do not want to talk to anyone.
That’s a small blessing on a very dark day.

5 Comments

  1. Ruby Ryder
    Aug 14, 2013

    Social media provides us a way of coming together more easily and more instantly, but social graces are many times sacrificed or at least abbreviated. What I have noticed is that it speeds up everything, when sometimes I long for a the slower, more complete experience from the past.

    • TheFerrett
      Aug 14, 2013

      I’m with ya. Sometimes, the explosions of sharing just seem convulsive.

    • Michelle
      Aug 14, 2013

      I recently lost my sister, and found the opposite. People posted their messages of condolence, and while they were appreciated, I really needed friends there in person to support me. I felt sad that we seem to have forgotten how to be real friends in times of trouble. A one line comment or a ‘like’ just didn’t cut it.

  2. Fayette
    Aug 14, 2013

    Recently a friend posted in facebook, as a way to thank those who prayed for their family and to inform their friends about her brother’s passing. I myself commented on that post, sharing a simple prayer and my condolences.
    Still, I don’t get why some people would ‘like’ her post. Seriously, she just said her brother passed away, and you ‘like’ it? You honestly like the fact that he’s dead?
    Sometimes, I really don’t get how tactless people could be.

  3. The Redneck Princess
    Aug 15, 2013

    My thoughts are with you…

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