How Social Networking Can Help With Loss

I recently asked for stories or experiences about coping with loss in a creative way.  Dana Marlowe’s story (below) is a great illustration of how many people are using social networking to share their loss, and even more importantly, build a stronger sense of community from those experiences.  Thank you, Dana!

 

I saw your question and couldn’t believe that someone would be interested in knowing what I did to honor my dad’s anniversary of his death. My father passed away when I was twelve years old. This past February was 25 years since his death. I decided that his memory, which should be a blessing, should be recognized in my social network in a public forum.

In January, I reached out to family and friends for old photos of my dad. I requested funny stories, quips, and entertaining memories. People gladly shared. Every day this past February, I posted on my Facebook wall a photo and/or a memory of my dad in celebration of who he was. He never saw me graduate high school or college. He never saw me fall in love. Or get married. Or buy a house. Or have children. Or run a successful business. But that doesn’t mean I forget who he was to me as an integral and critical life-shaper in my universe for twelve years.

In a very global social media style, I posted this personal collection of pictures and memories to my 1,000+ friends on Facebook. I shared on Twitter. And maybe once related it to business and put it on LinkedIn. My family loved it. They in turn re-shared and retweeted the stories and images. More people got to “know” and talk about my amazing Dad. ALL MONTH LONG.   It was cathartic. And amazing. And a little weird to honor the death date of someone. But, I looked past the oddness and boldly did it. The feedback was sensational. Normally, I go about my mundane suburban life of work and family and might not think about my father daily. But not this February. His memory burned brightly and I felt great. Good luck with your book. Thank you for letting me share.— Dana Marlowe

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