How Long Do We Spend Mourning Our Dead Facebook Friends? (requiem)

How Long Do We Spend Mourning Our Dead Facebook Friends? (requiem)

AC’s been dead about two years or so, I don’t really keep track, he went to a different high school and was more a friend of a friend who suffered from depression, like me. But Facebook lets me know when AC’s birthday was. And there’s an occasional “miss you” on his FB page.

The last thing he posted before he did himself in was a proverb. It was sort of cryptic. I didn’t know AC to be a Jesus guy. He had suspended his FB page. But, within a few hours of his death posted one message. I can’t find it now. It was captured somewhere, but now it’s gone, just like AC. I visited his page today, in memorium of this story to find I was no longer a “friend.” And his banner had been removed. All that’s left is one post about an obscure Iridium launch in 2017. Bye AC.

My brother’s FB page, on the other hand, is still fully operational. After he passed, I had the task of logging in and updating his status. But his autobiography is still up.

tom mcelhenney's biography

The website of his taj mahal is gone, but I think it’s still live on TripAdvisor. And if you look into booking his house, it still says “Tom M will reply within 24 hours.” Well, that’s not going to happen. His place was sold by his major investor, to settle the debt. I heard it was going to be refashioned into a destination recording studio for the music business, but I have no way to confirm that. I would love to take my kids and my friends down to Tom’s VillaPCaso in Sayulita, Mexico sometime, but that may no longer be possible. Still, his spirit and his wacky sense of humor lives on inside Facebook and our hearts. I never did turn his page into a “memorial” as is an option once someone dies. Today, it’s a living document, the last comments a few random “happy birthday, tom” posts in 2022.

When I die, I hope Facebook no longer exists. Or TikTok. My daughter (20) finally connected with me on TikTok so she could share the narrative she created for my birthday. Or was it Christmas?

There is a video of us, on my phone, from a 2017 trip to New York City. She is riding on my back laughing as I run down the sidewalk in a selfie of fatherly love and affection. That’s what I want to have as my memorial. How much I loved my kids. How much I love. Just love.

*image: my arm and my daughter at the 911 memorial

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