Grief in the Age of Social Media

Is there a right way and a wrong way to mourn online?

If I, myself, was still sorting through my reaction to K.j.’s death, why was I so upset by others doing the same?

Three years later I have come to understand that emotions do not require internal or external validation. We feel what we feel. Just as I wrestled with my own regrets and guilt about losing touch with K.j., I suppose others were coming to terms with what his death meant to them.

Perhaps some, regretting having not known him at all, were digesting the permanence of their past decisions, or uncomfortably acknowledging their own mortality. Maybe their posts were self-serving, in a way, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t authentic. They were honest.

I have to think that K.j. would have appreciated that honesty. Though he struggled with his own demons, he was endlessly authentic.

So I’m following his lead, acknowledging my own grief with authenticity and honesty in an attempt to find peace. And I’m leaving others to do the same. As K.j. would say, “Who cares what others think, anyway?”

To each his own way of mourning what was—and what wasn’t.

Lia Tabackman is a freelance journalist and graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University. She covers music, culture, entertainment and social issues.

Categories: People