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To not get people putting messages on FB to relatives that have been dead for years?

(236 Posts)
Wampingwillow Wed 30-Jan-13 13:12:25

I just don't get why anyone would want to wish their mother/ father/brother etc a happy birthday on Facebook when they've been dead for 10 years! Obviously they are dead and I would expect that the family and close friends would know that it would have been their birthday so why the need to let everyone else know? Is it just so they can get loads of 'sending you hugz Hun' messages and while we are at it why to people like the status? Do they really like the fact that your relative is dead?

wigglesrock Thu 31-Jan-13 18:45:04

We have Cemetery Sunday once a year (thankfully now moved from November to June) where everyone who wants to goes to a loved ones grave on a particular Sunday. Its a religious thing - Bishop is there - says a few decades (dependent on the weather), of the Rosary, a few prayers, blesses the graves. We always went - from the age of 4/5 - both my parents Dads died very young and we have loads of relatives. It sounds really morbid but its not.

I go with my friend to her daughters grave and its so important to her, that her baby was here, that she has a name and a birthday, grandparents, siblings. Other posters have said it much better than me but my friends pain is so visceral that anything that gives her comfort can't be judged.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Thu 31-Jan-13 11:06:29

Very kind of you, NorthernLurker, gratefully received and reciprocated, thank you. thanks

VinegarTits Thu 31-Jan-13 10:53:56

wow - op there are some things that should be left in your head and not actually said out loud, this is one of them

NorthernLurker Thu 31-Jan-13 10:38:50

Lyingwitch - I know it's not very mumsnet but may I offer you a <<hug>>? What a heartfelt post. There's always loose ends and things not said. We just have to live on alongside that.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Thu 31-Jan-13 10:29:34

I've come back to this thread because I've been thinking about it since yesterday and it's bothering me. It's true, we do seem to have a 'closed' culture to death in the UK. I don't know that it was always so; I've seen films and documentaries about the preservation of memories (particularly of children) and I can understand that completely. A poster further up the thread mentioned that it would be a good idea to have a 'Day of the Dead'; a proper remembrance and celebration of loved ones not with us now and I completely agree with that. We have "All Souls' Day" but it's not the same kind of thing.

I have antipathy towards Facebook having seen it always as competitive attention-seeking, on every subject - but it just a public medium for communication when I really think about it. I don't see every post or every wall and it's clear that it's unfair to make a judgement based on the tiny number of walls I've seen. I'm sorry that I did that because it's caused pain to posters on this thread and my going on about 'being free to grieve as you like' doesn't then sit very well then with my clouded judgements about Facebook.

I've peeped into the 'Bereavement' board many times, particularly when a poster mentions something here on AIBU, and it never fails to make me sad for the posters there. I'm a 'blotting out' kind of person and for me, it enables me to function but I don't actually think it's healthy. Keeping a tight control of my emotions is something I've always done, perhaps because I'm afraid of what might happen if I didn't? I don't know.

Anyway, I've posted back to clarify really, to say that there isn't one post here - or on the bereavement board - describing what the posters and their families do to get through their grief and keep their loved ones 'alive', that doesn't resonate. I would do ANYTHING to have the time back, I can't, nobody can, so what is left to do? I've smiled - and wept - at some of the descriptions of what posters here do - and their strength in posting about it. If I didn't obviously have a pole up my bum about death, I'd embrace it too and stop being so stuffy.

I really am sorry for any offence that I caused with my posts,

ratspeaker Thu 31-Jan-13 09:25:30

mumof2teenboys my deepest sympathy
One of my son's friends died suddenly last year, his page is still active.
I feel the FB page gives them an outlet for their grief and a way of remembering someone who was important to them, who touched their lives. I feel it is an important way to work through their feelings of loss, many can say things in FB about how bereft they feel that they wouldn't normally say in conversation.

OP as has been said, visiting graves, lighting candles, announcements in newspaper personal columns have all been used in the past as memorials.
FB is just the modern equivalent.

OP you dont need to read or respond to posts on FB if you dont want.

You dont have the right to sit in judgement over how people feel grief and you seriously lack empathy

Just because someone had died it doesn't mean they have never lived op, never loved or been loved

the body has nailed it for me. My mum was such a beautiful soul and I never ever want her to be forgotten!!

mumof2teenboys Thu 31-Jan-13 08:32:00

When James died, FB was a way for all of us to express our collective shock and grief.

We all post on his wall as a way of keeping him close and his memory alive.

I love my son, I can't hug him on his birthday, christmas, easter whatever. I can't tell him about a film I have seen that he would love. I can't tell him good/bad/trivial news because he isn't here. I can't talk to him about music or a gig we have been to. His brother can't talk to him about girls/love/life etc.

We put these things on FB, because we can, because it is the only way we can 'connect' with him.

If the OP doesn't get that, then lucky her. She obviously has her children here, she can hold them, talk to them and tell them she loves them.

I wish I didn't have to post on FB to tell my son how much he means to me. I wish he was here for me to tell him.

I am sorry that my loss and grief offends you, but its my life now, it is the life of everyone who has lost a loved one. I will keep James' memory alive for as long as I live. I don't actually care who that offends if I am being honest. Not having James here is a much bigger offence in my very humble opinion.

ssd Thu 31-Jan-13 08:15:38

in fact I go on fb all the time in the hope someone has mentioned my mum (relatives all live far away)

but its never happened

I'm closing fb because of this, it brings me nothing but pain

NorthernLurker Thu 31-Jan-13 08:15:12

I honestly don't get why some people find this hard to grasp. I have three children and I adore them of course. If, God forbid, one of them dies before me and my friends and family stop mentioning them it would repeatedly break my heart. It's unbearable. It only takes an ounce of imagination to to work that through and put yourself in that place. I don't find it very easy to mention my friends lost children but you know what - a couple of times a year I can manage it. That's not a lot to ask from people is it?

ssd Thu 31-Jan-13 08:13:59

do you know what op, the worst thing when someone you love dies is the feeling everyone else has forgotten them, except you and you are stuck in a limbo grieving for someone who was huge in your life and no one else is bothering

I'd love a fb page for my mum with messages randomly left by people who knew her and I wouldnt grudge anyone that at all

forgetmenots Thu 31-Jan-13 07:56:21

Fioled by the way I completely agree about OBEM - not helpful at all sad

forgetmenots Thu 31-Jan-13 07:52:58

(Was means to be thanks at the end there blush)

forgetmenots Thu 31-Jan-13 07:52:26

Oldebaglady - no, I said people can tag you and should then respect it if you ask not to be. I didn't suggest it was done without thought. They maybe thought you would very much appreciate it - who knows? No one (as far as I can see) thinks you're being unreasonable to ask not to be tagged, or that they being fair by continuing to do so. After they've disrespected your expressed wishes, then of course YANBU. You can block/unfriend/ask again, whatever you think appropriate. The first time it happens though it's not fair to assume thoughtlessness or malice, but afterwards they should listen to you and not tag. Everyone's rights respected, and only minor inconvenience and awkwardness caused?

Anyway - I really (honestly) hope you've dealt with the people who are doing this either way, so you can all get on with grieving.

expatinscotland Thu 31-Jan-13 00:52:12

We have celebrations, bake cakes and have picnics . . . for dead people. Even years after they've died. Yes, the whole family, even my little kids, ages 7 and 4. We have picnics at their sister's grave and let off balloons for other, dead children she knew from her unit when we can't make it to their services. I post photos of this on FB, too! I posted photos of my kids on a memorial bench created for their dead sister.

Sometimes my 7-year-old finds it hard to fall asleep and talks about her dead sister. I tell her she is still her sister, and that she loves her very much, and to never, ever be afraid of feeling her for that reason and to listen to her if she can hear her. She sleeps with the last school photo of her sister, the two of them taken together.

She grows up understanding that everyone dies, some younger than others, and that death is part of life, and there is nothing shameful about it and nothing to be hidden about it and that if she encounters people who tell her otherwise, that they are wrong.

fioled Wed 30-Jan-13 23:35:52

Things that have struck me on this thread:

MrsDV "But yet again, it is the bereaved who are expected to tread carefully around the sensitivities of the non bereaved, lest we upset them. Remind them of their mortality or worse, the mortality of their children."

SaintVera "Death gets hidden away in our society. That is the thing that is wrong, not the Facebook tributes."

Yup, that and everything NorthernLurker has said. Pretty much sums up how I'm feeling tonight between this shite and nonsense I've been involved with elsewhere about the lack or warning about bereaved parents and rainbow babies on OBEM.

Apparently my life needs a warning sticker and I shouldn't mention my dead child on FB...

wewereherefirst Wed 30-Jan-13 22:59:11

I will sometimes post something on Facebook about a relative I found dead when I was a young teenager. Over 10 years on and I still struggle to contain the grief and sometimes writing it on Fb helps me, it's cathartic writing a message to a loved one.

On the other hand, I never post about my daughter. That is my inward grief.

I would never wish to belittle someone's right to grieve how they feel they need to. Grief is personal, not private.

expatinscotland Wed 30-Jan-13 22:56:57

There's a block function on FB.

Yes I did, so tell them again, there is no point ranting at us, we aren't doing it, forget was quite sympathetic to your distress at being tagged from what I can see.

oldebaglady Wed 30-Jan-13 22:45:59

argh! I DID read it

didn't you read that I said I had told them REPEATEDLY? that means I told them "again!"

ffs hmm

oldebaglady Wed 30-Jan-13 22:44:40

forgetmenots posted that its okay to tag without thinking twice unless you have been asked not to

I disagree and think a moment's thought is apt before tagging someone on a post about a dead person, and tagging whole groups without thinking about it is selfish!

Also olde I did read your post, you will note I used the word again - maybe you shoud read the posts you are directly quoting.

no-one has said you should be tagged and you shouldn't be upset about getting tagged in posts when you have asked not to be (unless I missed one somewhere) many people have given you helpful suggestions with you more or less saying 'why should I'. confused You are making your point (over and over again) to the wrong people.

rayeames Wed 30-Jan-13 22:37:58

I hate it. My Dad died a couple of years ago. My aunt now acts like Dad (her brother) never existed and has cut my Mum out of her life (e.g. she'll invite the family over but not my Mum). But on FB she is always posting those generic 'I'm lighting a candle for someone I love' posts on significant dates. It really pisses me off that she does all the 'pay attention to my grief' stuff on FB but isn't a decent person in RL. Maybe she has coloured my views a bit, but I think even in less extreme cases public displays of grief can be upsetting for those who prefer to grieve privately but whose emotions run just as deep.

5madthings Wed 30-Jan-13 22:37:24

Well delete or block them then you have plenty if options but moaning about it on here wont help and actually seems insensitive to people who have been upset by this thread IMO.

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