Using Social Media After A Death

By: Matthew Funeral Home
Monday, April 10, 2023

Today, billions of users log into social media accounts. Websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram give people a platform to connect and share their thoughts. Many people share their feelings or intimate details of their lives on social media. After a loved one dies, social media can be a place for support in grief, and a place to inform loved ones of memorial arrangements. In doing so, it can be important to know how to best handle the topic on social media.

Using Social Media After A Death in the Family

Firstly, it is important to take it at your own pace. Grief affects everyone differently, and it can be overwhelming at times. Social media can be a place to find support during your grief. Others may find that they need to take a break from social media to grieve. 
Most families will post something informing friends and family of their loved one’s passing, often including a tasteful picture of the deceased. In addition to a loving message, it is common to add information regarding arrangements such as the funeral home and times of service. It is usually up to the immediate family to make this post. However, if you want to post something as well, a short message and a nice picture of you and them are common.

After the Death of Someone Outside of Your Family

If you are grieving the loss of a close friend or loved one outside of the family, it is best to wait for the family to post something first. They may need time to figure things out before they say something public. If you post ahead of time, they may be flooded with messages of condolences. It is best to wait for them to be ready before you post anything online. When and if you do post something, it is better to keep it short and sweet. Additionally, it is let the family handle the distribution of funeral arrangements. 

Responding to Posts about the Passing of a Loved One

When responding to a memorial post online, it is best to send your condolences and keep long-form communications for other platforms. The family is most likely overwhelmed with their loss, and will probably not have the energy to read a paragraph-long comment on Facebook. 

Grief Resources and Social Media

Social media can be a good place to find grief support after the death of a loved one. There are many grief-related groups and pages on social media that provide people with safe spaces to discuss and work through their grief. Exploring these groups can be a good way to process your grief, and feel less alone as you do so.

The Circumstances of a Loved One’s Passing

It is usually best not to discuss the circumstances of a loved one’s death on social media. The immediate family may decide otherwise, but it should be left to them to do so. If you are an immediate family member and you do want to share this, it is usually best to keep it brief and nondescript. 

Social Media Accounts of The Deceased

Each social media account has a way that the family of the deceased can interact with their accounts. These may include legacy posts that inform the deceased’s followers of their passing or closing the account completely. The deceased may have had to set up legacy account settings before their passing. Alternatively, some people choose to leave a record of account information in estate documents, so that the family can log in for them.

The author of this post is not a professional therapist or counselor. For assistance in finding a grief counselor that is right for you, there are a number of resources out there. For our Grief Resource center, written by Dr. Bill Webster, click here
For almost 50 years, Matthew Funeral Home has been serving the Staten Island community. We can help with almost every aspect of your loved one’s memorial service. Our family is here to serve yours, every step of the way.

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