Today I was on Twitter, just scrolling through my feed, when I saw a heartbreaking tweet from Mara Schiavocampo, an American journalist. Sadly, her mother has passed away, and I am sending her love and strength in this difficult time, like many others who saw her posts on social media.
However, there were a couple of replies I saw that made me very upset for her.
I found this to be really judgemental. Personally, I posted about my mum’s passing on social media because I needed a way to tell everyone that she was gone. I couldn’t bring myself to call up every single person who knew her. Furthermore, her passing was the same week as my birthday, and I was receiving normal birthday messages from people because they had no idea what had happened. Social media is the easiest way to inform everyone that you are grieving and to explain your circumstances, whether you are a normal person or a celebrity.
Replies like this are the reason people have no true understanding of death, grief and loss. It makes the work of grief support pages even more important than any of us can realise.
If you want to express your grief on social media, that’s okay. If you want to just discuss it with your friends and family, that’s also okay. If you want to keep it to yourself, that’s okay too. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Everyone’s grief journey is different, but one thing we all have in common is that it’s a strange and challenging experience.
You never know what you will do until you are in that situation, so there is no need for judging people on how they choose to express themselves and what they choose to put out there, especially when that person is grieving. What we should do is offer our support and look out for one another.