Embarrassing

Thursday, January 30, 2014

I've noticed that when I post anything about Max or grief on my Facebook page, it basically goes ignored (except for by a few obligatory likes or maybe a comment from another bereaved parent).  If I post something about Mo or our house in Costa Rica or anything else, I get lots of likes and comments.

I've asked other bereaved parents if they've had the same experience and what they think about it.  They tell me that it is because my feelings embarrass "regular" folk.  And, so I guess that means I am expected to post only about light and fluffy stuff.  I find it kind of irritating.  You might feel embarrassed about my talking about my son but I do not feel embarrassed about him.  I feel a LOT of emotions about Max and losing Max - pride, love, missing, longing, adoration - embarrassment is not one of them. 

A colleague told me that Facebook is a place to post the kind of stuff you would talk about at a cocktail party.  Keep it light.........Maybe this explains why I avoid cocktail parties.

Another bereaved mother suggests that I offer a week's stay at our house in Costa Rica to the Facebook "friend" that shows me the most Facebook compassion over the month of February.  I thought that was pretty funny - cynical - but funny.  I feel like I might get a few more "likes" if I made that offer.

I guess when I post about grief on Facebook, I am not really looking for anyone to respond necessarily.  But, just because they don't respond, doesn't mean I am going to stop posting about grief.  You can ignore the things that make you uncomfortable all you want - but that doesn't mean that they are going anywhere. 


9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Abby,
I read your posts - always -
and when you speak about Max, I am always grateful. I don't comment because I only want to be constructive/ supportive and I don't know you - other than knowing you so beautifully from your blog. Nothing embarasses me about your speaking about Max. Rather, you speak my truth about grieving and loss and the horror of this planet. But I know too well about unintended consequences of good intentions and so you don't hear from me - but I love you and your Ted and your Max and Mo - in that odd way one can love someone they haven't met. xoxo, CS

Abby Leviss said...

Thank you Anonymous - your comment totally softens the hard shell that seems to grow over my heart every few weeks. Sometimes I need someone like you to come in and crack it. XOXO

Anonymous said...

Maybe people feel weird using the "like" button when the subject matter is sad or difficult. They worry that it will seem they are "liking" the fact that Max is gone. If there was a "sympathize," "care," "empathize," or "I feel for you" button that would be much better!

Abby Leviss said...

YES! I agree. "Like" just doesn't feel right a lot of the time. A friend of mine lost her best friend a few days ago and posted "My best friend died today". Most people responded with heartfelt comments but a few responded with "like"s and it definitely felt like not the right response. Thank you for that comment.

Anonymous said...

Abby, I'm not friends with you on Facebook. But i do read missingmaxie. This is my first time replying to your posts. i usually don't comment because i don't know what to say. You have had the most tragic loss. I know that none of my words can be of any use or comfort, so I usually don't say anything.

I will continue to read missingmaxie, attend any events I'm invited to, and donate what I can to First Candle in Maxie's memory.

Abby Leviss said...

Thank you Anonymous. This is really lovely.

Anonymous said...

The way I look at Facebook, it is like standing in a crowded amphitheater while hundreds of other people mill around at the same time talking. Some people are telling stories, some jokes, some have really profound things to say, but the words are constant and get completely lost in the shuffle.

I much prefer a handful of blogs I can read with thought and clarity. For me, facebook just isn't that kind of place.

Abby Leviss said...

Yes, Anonymous. You are completely right. And, I know this, though I like your explanation more than most. I don't know why on some days, it hurts to be ignored and other days I look around and realize everyone else is being ignored too - even those people who don't have dead children. Thank you for your comment.

Anonymous said...

This is very puzzling to me. Any time one of my friends posts a picture of someone they are missing, I always like the picture or write something like, "thinking of you today" because I am. I feel awful for them that their loved one is no longer here and that their heart is hurting so much. If we were facebook friends I would like and comment on all of the pictures of your precious Max. One of my friends lost her son when she was five months pregnant and every year they send balloons up to heaven. I see the post every summer and always comment. I love that they do something special for their son. It would be strange to me if that ever stopped. Sending prayers to you and your family.

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