Nowadays, it is usual that we often learn about the death of someone through Facebook or other social media. A friend, co-worker or neighbor posts that someone close to them has just passed away. Social media has many benefits in reaching a broad audience – in one post vs all the personal phone calls and emails and texts. It helps to reach people who you’ve lost touch with over the years, but think fondly about. Childhood friends, people you went to college with, family friends you grew up with, colleagues you really had a strong connection with.
When we see such a post, what to do? Do we click the “Like” button”, the “Heart” or the “Sad face”? Do we post a comment on their wall? Post “RIP”? It’s not always so simple. We often sit there and wonder, what is appropriate?
Should I reach out to the person? I haven’t been in touch with them in years, or I’m not so close to them but really like them, etc. Is there an etiquette manual for this?
Here are some things you can do:
- Send a personal message to the person with memories of the person who passed away, or simply to say that you heard the news, and you are thinking of them.
- Look up the obituary and typically there is a line where donations are appreciated. Make a donation (it can be nominal) to the charity they chose to honor their loved one.
Receiving a message from someone you’ve lost touch with but remember fondly when you are going through this is often so heartwarming and touching. It’s sometimes not expected, which makes the impact even stronger and envelopes the mourning person in even a stronger circle of love and support.