It took me a few minutes to connect the dots, but long story short, my old classmate had passed away. I was a bit shocked. Not because we were close. We'd grown up together but he moved away during our sophomore yeah of high school, and other than the occasional like or brief comment on FB, I hadn't had much interaction with him since then. Still it was hard to swallow. So naturally I did what anyone else would do, I scrolled through his and his families timeline to figure out what happened.
The Rise of the Dead
I read somewhere that nearly 8,000 Facebook users die everyday, and that at this rate if things don't change their would be more dead profiles on FB than living profiles.
Yesterday, I saw a post from my classmates daughter again, this time it said something like I miss you Daddy. My heart hurt. I felt bad for her and his family. Then I noticed his profile is still active, and there were several other people who had written on his wall over the past year about missing him and his love for fishing and sports.
Unfriending the Dead
Obviously I don't do regular maintenance on my Facebook friends list, because I realized that I'm still friends with my old classmate even though he's been gone now for more than a year. It seems odd that I'm still friends but surely I can't unfriend him now can I? I mean even if I wasn't much of a friend before I would certainly go to hell for unfriending a dead guy right? And besides, I still like him better than some of the people I went to school with that I have as friends and I don't delete them. So maybe I'll just leave well enough alone.
I mean no disrespect to my classmate, his family or any one else who has a dead loved one with a Facebook profile. I understand maybe it helps with the grieving process. It's a good way for people to remember, communicate or cope. I get it. I just think it's a bit weird. But maybe it's better than going to a grave and talking to a loved one. I know that can be hard for some people to cope with as well. Thinking that their loved one is in the ground? I don't know. I've lost a few loved ones in my time, but none since the new age of social media. I guess to each his own.
My dying wish
I'm still not sure what ever happened to my old classmate. I'd like to think that we're not old enough to die of such things as cancer, or heart failure, but as we all know when it's your time it's your time. I'm pretty sure though that it wasn't his decision to keep his Facebook profile active after he passed. It doesn't seem natural that someone would actually request this as a last wish, as a way to stay in touch. I'm sure it's something his daughters or wife have continued to maintain to help them get through.
It seems strange to me that I'd have ask my DW or clowns to close out all my cyber space accounts when I pass, but I guess that's what it's come down to. So if you're reading this, please, for me, kill me when I'm dead.