I like cemeteries. Not to the extent that I want to move in yet. Although I am always in the market for a good photo for my obituary. But I like wandering through cemeteries. Particularly historic ones. I am drawn to read the headstones with names and birth/death dates. For many of those interred therein with no remaining immediate descendants it is the only evidence of their existence. Imagine, those few words giving scant evidence of lives of love, hard work and accomplishment.
I take some comfort that there are three generations of my ancestors in Abbotsford’s Hazelwood cemetery. Someday there will be four (unless Pam simply puts me out with the compost to save money).
Many of my Facebook friends have passed over the last several years. Some of their profiles have been turned into memorial sites. Some I knew well, some not so well. I have a few times considered unfriending the two or three dozen friends who are deceased. I know it won’t hurt their feelings but I have resisted doing so. Partly out of respect. Partly because their continuing to be friends isn’t taking any space. And perhaps it’s a way of keeping some memory of people I respected.
Facebook presents a conundrum in this respect. Previous to the last couple of weeks I have never unfriended anyone and I still have never blocked anyone. I am a believer in free speech. But two weeks ago I decided to unfriend my first two individuals who had indicated unhappiness with my posts (they apparently didn’t know how to scroll). I thought I would solve their problem for them. Both are seeking elective office next week (hopefully unsuccessfully). They are my first unfriends. “Should I go further? “ I thought.
I thought again about the deceased friends. And I considered my own motivations for many of my posts on Facebook. Perversely, I have used Facebook as a diary. Recording events, reactions and thoughts over the last several years. Even including information about my childhood and family history. A diary. Certainly not a private one. A diary where my children can find details and understand me and their history. even after my eventual demise. For all of the negatives of Facebook and the nastiness it encourages, it provides a permanent record. Like the cemetery markers did and do.
I think I’ve decided to keep my dead friends out of respect. I just have to learn not to be disappointed when they don’t react to my posts.
What do you do with your Facebook friends when they pass?
Posts copied from FaceBook.