Months To Years Fall 2018 Months To Years Fall 2018 - Page 21

Death in the Digital Age by Pam McAllister I was shocked to come upon Jimmy on Facebook. He died him several messages. “It’s like he isn’t really dead,” Lisa four years ago. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up explained. “He lives on in the cyber universe.” and a cold shiver ran through my soul. I hadn’t expected to find his smiling face here. Isn’t it macabre? Digging deeper, I learned that Facebook pages and   profiles can remain up after someone dies. The page Are the dead expected to keep up with their Facebook becomes a memorial where the deceased can be publicly Timeline? I checked his page and found that he’s added remembered. Facebook has become the world’s largest nothing new, thank God. On second thought, it would be virtual cemetery. Rules are still being written to clarify nice to hear about the afterlife first hand. who can inherit or delete a Facebook account, and, increasingly, users are leaving written instructions for their How long has this sort of thing been going on? Does God digital legacies. ~  know about this? Whoa, talk about resurrection! Houdini vowed to stay in touch if he could. Is he on Facebook? OMG, he is! I wonder how all this is impacting people who I learned of Lilly’s death by email. It was a general run seances? announcement that went to a broad smattering of friends.    While Jimmy’s added nothing new, others have left fond Later, on Facebook, I gently conveyed that the news was messages for him to read. I had so many questions. After wretched and shocking, not, however, tragic. Lilly’s was I said “ewww” a few dozen times and flapped my hands, I a good long life, a blessedly short death. She and I were decided to ask Lisa about all this. She knew Jimmy, too. I never close; our lives overlapped through a circle of friends. trusted that she wouldn’t judge my discomfort. I grieved more for the impact her death would have on   that circle. I worried for them, felt for them. I also posted Lisa gently brought me up to speed on social media that I had spent several healing hours at the library, mourning etiquette, then confided that she finds Jimmy’s writing, reading, chatting quietly with a friend. All was well. ongoing Facebook page comforting. She’s even left I felt at peace. 21