by Cynthia Caron
There is something about sharing emotions and learning new and positive ways to cope that aids in the grieving process. This is not something new due to the internet, fact is many years ago entire villages used to gather to mourn the passing of another member of their community. All over the world there are different rituals and ceremonies built around public gatherings of strangers to mourn the loss of "one of their own." We too do this in many ways from gathering when a young soldier is killed overseas and his or her body returns to our towns and we do the same when we have public candlelight vigils for our missing as well as for tragic deaths that may have occurred in our towns. I think in my own personal life the first "event" I was exposed to with a public "gathering" was when President John F. Kennedy was shot and all homes gathered around their televisions and everywhere I went with my parents I saw the grief and heard the conversations. There was something comforting about having such a bond and seeing so many people "experiencing the same" and being able to talk about it. Public postings on social network sites, such as Facebook or Twitter, is another way of being able to reach out in a more personal level to others for comfort and solace. It does not mean one is not receiving it "at home" or that one is looking for "attention' it is merely one is using all tools available to them to gain insight and to bond and learn from others who have experienced the same…and every person who has ever had someone they love pass away can relate. I think it is a positive move towards healing and building self-awareness and is healthy.
In helping her, I suggested that perhaps her sister in law is not in the same place of grief as to where she is and maybe the public posting makes her feel "guilty" in some way that she cannot bring herself to post as she is not at that level, or *stage, in her own grief process, and perhaps she start a new page, or blog, and title it "My brother's in heaven?" This way her sister in law and nieces can decide if they wish to go and read, join in the postings…or not. What do you think? Do you think public grieving should be kept private?
To learn more about the 5-stages of Grief, and Complicated Grief, go to: http://lostnmissing.org/in-memory-2/
NamUs-Victim Advocate (NH)
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