Support the Café
Search our site

Bereavement and the internet

Bereavement and the internet

The internet has provided a wider circle “to shout our grief into a cruel world, and it helps the world to extend offerings in return.”

Esther D. Kustanowitz, writing in The Tablet:

When the rabbis, priests, imams and mystics created religious rules and customs surrounding loss and mourning, they did so with varying approaches to respecting the dead and creating the structures for mourners to reconnect to local community.

But they never saw the Internet coming.

Beyond the religious texts and self-help books, the Internet has vastly expanded the conversation about death, grief and life after loss. The Internet has become a place where circles of grief and expression of loss expand with every click, and consequently, so have the resources in which community and consolation may lie.

Because of the Internet, we have access to poignant stories surrounding grief, from cancer doctor Peter Bach , who started lying to his wife about her condition in her final days, to comedian Laurie Kilmartin , whose tweets chronicled her father’s final decline. When actorCorbin Bernsen lost his mother, he shared his reflections on his Christian faith and his life after loss via Facebook posts. After her father died in April, actress Mayim Bialik wrote about her perspectives on grief and mourning, and how it fit into her life as a Jew, as a daughter and as a parent. And of course, as many of us saw in our social media feeds this week, when Sheryl Sandberg completed shloshim (a period of 30 days of mourning in the Jewish tradition) for her husband David Goldberg, who died suddenly about a month ago, she shared her lengthy and poignant reflections on loss with the entirety of the Facebook audience.

Posted by Andrew Gerns

Dislike (0)
0 0 vote
Article Rating
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

1 Comment
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Cynthia Katsarelis

When my father passed I posted it on my Facebook Timeline. I decided that that was better than having to tell people over and over again. I didn't expect the outpouring of love, prayers, cards, and expressions of care, but they were really wonderful and helpful.

Like (0)
Dislike (0)
Facebooktwitterrss
Support the Café
Past Posts
2020_001

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café