the afterlife on facebook

i have so many qualms, questions, confusions, comments, and complaints about facebook. but nothing leaves me as unsettled as still being “friends” with someone who has passed on to the other side.

facebook, as it keeps me posted on the lives of many, also plays a role after the death of someone i know. as it is, i don’t handle death-related matters well. losing one of my best friends at a young vurnable age has left me with little defenses in dealing with the dark side of life. but it doesn’t change the fact as the years go by, there are more and more people on my friend list who are gone.

i never know quite how to deal with it in general, but i am less informed on what constitutes as appropriate responses on facebook. often, immediately after the death my newfeed is flooded with messages of condolences. on a wall belonging to a person who will never read it. some people even tag the deceased in their statues or posts. i wonder what it’s all for.

i guess it’s rather obvious that it’s not for the dearly departed. my best guess is that it’s more for the person writing the message, and maybe even for close ones to read how loved someone was.

for me, it’s strange. till date i have never posted my warm words on a wall of someone who has passed. i haven’t written them messages to a now hollow inbox, but often, i find myself reading the messages. i am intriqued by the matters people choose to write on an exposed arena. mostly they are words of love. many leave a few memories on a digital wall. most of all, there is always kindness.

but i can only read so many. skimming what people write, i feel invasive. as if i’m seeing and hearing things that i shouldn’t be. as if i’m peering into some of the deepest and most intimate things. of the people who are gone, i haven’t been too close to many of them…but in their own way each played a role in my life. in some way or the other, our lives intersected and our lives intertwined. maybe only at a party. maybe only in high school. maybe only for a phase.

for the most part, the loss of these individuals make little impact on my life. as it is, they were in different places, we weren’t talking much, we had little interaction as of late. but still. but still. on occasion these people pop up in my mind, and the fact that they’re no longer here is always an afterthought. it’s easy to forget that someone far away is gone.

i write these things because today, a man who i didn’t know well enough, who i assumed i still had time to build on our relationship with would have aged by a year. i always feel like the deceased never age, they are blessed (or cursed) to be forever the age they were when their time came. but my time goes on. i age. i age day by day. and as their name pops up on my facebook, as my facebook asks me if i’d like to write on their wall, a huge sense of uncomfortableness spreads inside of me.

others write. many leave wishes, many say they are still missed.

i don’t write anything, but i can also never bring myself to defriend them.

we all greive in our own ways.


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