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SILs constant Facebook focus on bereavement.

73 replies

TinaBelcher · 24/07/2017 08:10

Actually it's my BILs partner. I have unfollowed her on FB a few times and always follow again cos she posts photos of our nephew every day so I absurdly feel like a bad auntie keeping that invisible on purpose. He's a lovely little boy.

But her FB talks about her dead parents literally every single week of her life.

Her Dad died when she was 19, and her Mum who was her best friend died just before she got pregnant. I am not for one second suggesting those were not traumatic events. I lost both my parents unexpectedly last year just 4 months apart - I know what it's like.

BUT I find myself becoming really irritated by her FB activity.

She will do one of the following every week and sometimes twice a week: change her profile pic to one of her dead parents, post a meme about stars in the sky or some maudlin poem, write something about some anniversary and missing them, post on her own wall tagging a friend who's parent died that week years ago and go "AnneX, can you believe we lost your Mam 5 years ago this week! Dad is 17 years gone now, it never gets any easier Hun" prompting numerous comments consoling them BOTH.

Basically she appears to be relentlessly mining for sympathy. And she gets it cos her Friend list is vast.

I asked my BIL if she was ok cos of all the posts and he said yeah she was 100% fine and she wasn't depressed at all and basically said FB isn't reflective of her real life.

Why does it bother me SO MUCH??! It's her choice right? I should just unfollow her and ignore it right? I literally get so annoyed about her sympathy mining that I don't want to see her in real life!

OP posts:

WhamBarsArentAsFizzyAsTheyWere · 24/07/2017 08:16

She has lost both her parents. She wants sympathy. She chooses to use her own FB where people don't have to respond or even look if they don't want.

I can't see she is doing anything wrong.

Look on your BILs FB if you want to see pics of your nephew and unfollow her or ask her to tag you in pics so you can see then without looking at her page.


gabsdot · 24/07/2017 08:18

I have a friend like this. She lost 3 close friends within a couple of years and then her sister died suddenly.
She often posts about them.
It helps your SILher grieve maybe. Just leave her to it. You don't have to read her posts


ethelfleda · 24/07/2017 08:23

I suppose technically YABU but I have to admit that this would annoy me as well.

I try and reconcile it by thinking that everyone deals with things differently - I absolutely would not post such intimate facts about my life or emotions on social media and I'm guessing you're the same? So it's hard to understand someone who does do it on a regular basis. And sympathy seeking is something I find irritating in general!


dadadadathatslife · 24/07/2017 08:24

There will be a million people along in a minute to tell you that yabu but I think I know where you're coming from.

I know a girl lost her mother and father within about 3/4 years of each other but in between these events her husband died suddenly of a heart attack at age 38 I think. An absolute tragedy by anyone's standards but she has a new partner and they're living together and bought a house together and the kids all live together.

About 7 years has passed since the death of her husband and pretty much every day she posts about her deep and undying love for her husband. She's also posted pics of him in his kilt and referred to how much she loved what was under the kilt etc. It's pretty constant. I feel a bit uncomfortable that the new partner and his family see all this. Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that it doesn't seem like she's come to terms with it which is heartbreaking and Facebook seems to be her outlet to let the world know that he was taken from her and it wasn't her choice.

Be gentle with your SIL - grief doesn't have a time limit and it'll be hurting her more than her Facebook posts are annoying you


Bluepansies · 24/07/2017 08:27

If it makes her feel better then why not. Everyone deals with things in different ways, it doesn't mean your way is more right than her way. Instead of thinking of it as mining for sympathy perhaps try to see it as her trying to get some comfort


TinaBelcher · 24/07/2017 08:28

No I post nothing on FB, except when my parents died I said "thank you all for your kind messages, each one is much appreciated" each time.

It's somehow like her grief is more important than anyone elses cos she chooses to display it every couple of days. It's like "Did you forget? Better not!"

OP posts:

Mrsmartell08 · 24/07/2017 08:33

Therein lies your issue.. .WHY does it bother you so much?
The issue is yours.
We all grieve in different ways. No right or wrong way.
I don't grieve on FB personally but neither do i judge those who do.


WhamBarsArentAsFizzyAsTheyWere · 24/07/2017 08:35

It's somehow like her grief is more important than anyone elses cos she chooses to display it every couple of days. It's like "Did you forget? Better not!"

This is your issue, not hers.


Toadinthehole · 24/07/2017 08:37

I think YANBU.

We all need to grieve; it helps us heal. But there is such a thing as getting addicted to sympathy, and refusing to come to terms with one's loss. That's not healing or healthy.

Be careful though: no one knows what she's really feeling but herself.


dinosaursandtea · 24/07/2017 08:38

I understand - it's performative grief and it all sounds horribly maudlin. Great if it helps her, but you don't need to see it. Just unfollow her - it will make life a LOT easier.


ZoeWashburne · 24/07/2017 08:40

I hate vaguebooking or people fishing for consolation/complements. It is a pet hate of mine so I completely understand where you are coming from. If it was once or twice, I understand, but every week for 17 years seems exhausting. I know plenty of smart, grown women that act like 16 year olds on Facebook.

That being said, I don't think there is anything you can do- Short of hiding her so she doesn't pop up in your newsfeed.

It's social media, you can use it anyway you want. She is 'allowed' to post that if she wants. I would suggest hiding her for a bit so it doesn't get under your skin so much.


Whatsername17 · 24/07/2017 08:47

Do you think it annoys you because you've felt the gut wrenching loss too, but her posts make it seem like she thinks she's the only one? Or that by continually posting about it it constantly reminds you that you've lost your parents too? Or are you quite a stoic person who finds this sort of stuff hard to witness? I'm the latter. When I was at school, my grandad died. It was my first experience of death. One of the girls in my class lived across the road from my grandparents and our two families were friends. We grew up together. The day after my grandad died I went to school as normal. I didn't tell anyone. She took a few days off because she was too upset. When she returned, in every lesson, she repeatedly broke down wailing about 'her grandad'. I just wanted to keep my head down and get on with my work, but after the fourth time that day, I shouted at her to 'fucking shut up!' and walked out of my lesson. The teacher followed me and had a massive go at me for upsetting the girl who had 'lost her grandad'. I explained that he was my grandad, her neighbour and I couldn't cope with the constant attention seeking and wailing in every lesson. I look back now, as an adult and I feel a bit guilty. They were close, she had a right to be upset. But, the way she did it just made it all about her. The school actually phoned my mum to qualify whose grandfather he was because I was behaving normally and she was a blubbering mess. They were going to exclude me before they realised why I reacted the way I did. Everyone grieves differently and that is OK. But, social media gives people a platform, and some people use that for attention seeking or just to wallow in their misery. Before social media she would have told you the same story over and over again. Id unfollow her and get the drama out of your life.


Decaffstilltastesweird · 24/07/2017 08:49

I can't get annoyed with people who do this. Obviously it is an outlet for her.


OnionKnight · 24/07/2017 08:49

I unfollowed a friend because of similar behaviour, her mum died suddenly three years ago.

Yes it was a massive shock and very sad for her family but every day she tags her mum's Facebook account in half a dozen memes, or old photo's of the mum etc and in the end I'd had enough of her fishing for sympathy so I unfollowed her.

I'm aware that the above makes me sound like a massive cunt but it was relentless, I have other friends who have lost parents or partners etc and they are very dignified.


RiverTam · 24/07/2017 08:49

Her dad died 17 years ago? And her mum not that long after?

Sorry, but she just sounds incredibly narcissistic.

(Oh, and even if you unfollow someone you can still just click on them on your friends list and see what they've posted, it just isn't on your timeline.)


troodiedoo · 24/07/2017 08:49

The OP has clearly indicated in the first post that it's her issue, she's not denying that.

Nothing she can do though other than Un follow, and that means she won't see photos of her nephew. Hopefully Facebook are working on a solution to filter posts, this must be an issue for many.


SimonsPies · 24/07/2017 08:51

She's not necessarily looking for sympathy. Maybe she's chosen FB as the best way (for her) to explore her grief. Just unfollow her. Looking at a nephew's photos on FB doesn't make you s good aunt.


Hulder · 24/07/2017 08:52

Unfollow her and don't follow her again.

As your BIL said, her real life is not life her FB life. How you are a good aunty is not how you are an aunty on FB. FB is not real life.

I have unfollowed several people who I really like in real life and can't stand on FB - it's an odd place where some people do odd things.


Decaffstilltastesweird · 24/07/2017 08:52

Fwiw, my mum died suddenly just before I fell pregnant with DC1 (ended up giving birth exactly one year after she died, bizarrely). I actually had the opposite reaction and closed my fb account. I didn't want people to message me on there about her. But I hate fb anyway. I've been back since, but have shut it down again. Seems to bring out the worst (envious, show off) in me! I'd recommend getting rid of it to anyone (except those who need it for work).

I still can't get annoyed with people who love fb and find it cathartic to speak about their deceased loved ones on there. Maybe it's their way of coping.


FittonTower · 24/07/2017 08:54

I have a friend who does this, she seems just fine in real life but her Facebook is all about her lost parents. I figure it's her outlet for her grief - when she feels sad she post on Facebook and gets the sympathy she needs but she knows she's not always burdening the same person every time. She also knows people can "hide" her for a while if it's annoying. I think Facebook is a good place for this stuff. Gives you an outlet knowing that people can easily ignore it if they're not feeling that sympathetic today


Toadinthehole · 24/07/2017 08:57


Your school was going to exclude you???


Tootsiepops · 24/07/2017 09:02

I lost my brother, dad and mum all very suddenly within the space of four years. I used Facebook to post about my grief and sadness. I was absolutely not fishing for sympathy - I just didn't have any other outlet or anywhere else to turn.

Sending my thoughts and feelings in to the ether was a release for me. I also think it's helpful for others to see and know that grief is painful, but that it's ok to talk about it and that, as much as it hurts, you can get through it.

OP - this is about you and your grief. It's not actually about your sil at all. Have you any residual, unresolved or complex grief regarding your own losses?


ireallydontlikefootball · 24/07/2017 09:03

Facebook is the place to be if you want attention. All social media is the same but faceache is the worst.
My dad died 3 years ago, suddenly and on the worst day of the year for a family. I have never once posted about it. I loved my dad so much and my grief was mine and I didn't want sympathy I just wanted to grieve in peace. I have lost a couple of pets recently and another family member and yet I still haven't posted about it. Those who need to know do as I told them in person.
As far as I see it fakebook is just for showing off, bragging and getting attention and sympathy. I don't post often as I'm not an attention seeking twat who thinks the world revolves around me.

OP I get it and don't blame you for feeling like you do. Just block her and check on her page once a week and dutifully like your nephews pics and then quickly come off.


Redredredrose · 24/07/2017 09:04

My mum and brother died within 3 years of each other. I barely mentioned it on Facebook but I talked an awful lot about it to my real life friends. Luckily for me, none of them thought I was mining for sympathy, and instead understood I was struggling with horrific events that left it hard for me to think about anything else. No-one looking at my FB page would have had any idea how much I was struggling. If your SIL finds comfort on FB, you should just be grateful that it's helping her feel relatively normal in her real life interactions.


EsmesBees · 24/07/2017 09:06

I completely get this. I have a cousin who posts similar things about her parents. That itself doesn't bother me as I just hide them, but she brings me in to it too, she'll post a soppy poem about mums and tag me saying how much she misses her aunt (my mum). So I'll be sitting with a cuppa getting two minutes peace on my phone and suddenly, a big fat reminder (not that I ever forget, but you know what I mean). I'd like to say something to her, I find it attention seeking and intrusive, but also feel she should be allowed her grief and to process it in her own way.

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