Monday, October 27, 2014

#MicroblogMondays: J.

This morning when I opened the FB app on my phone I had two notifications. One was a 'like' someone had given on a photo I posted, the other one was to let me know it was my FB friend J.'s birthday. Only J. is no longer with us.

The weird thing was that I had actually thought about her when I woke up. I don't know why because besides being FB friends, we weren't really friends in real life (and I didn't know today was her birthday). We had met once a few years ago, when we were living in the same city and she was looking into daycare/babysitter options for her baby girl. We had some things in common as new mothers and expats - the need to have some 'me-time' again but the struggle of handing our baby over to a sitter when we didn't have a real need (ie work) for it, and the feeling of being a bit lost in a new environment/country/culture. My sitter did have an opening, but J. didn't take it. She moved back to the US with her baby and French husband a few months later.

Her FB friend request came this Spring, which I accepted because I had a nice memory of that one time we met. I didn't post anything on her timeline or send her a message, but I did scroll through her posts and I saw funny stories and happy photos. Until two months ago, when my newsfeed showed something that had been posted on her timeline by a friend. J. had taken her own life.

I went back into her posts and realized that social media can paint a completely different picture of someone than what's actually going on in their life. I felt bad for not writing something after accepting her friend request (not that I think it would have made a difference - but maybe it would have if all of her 254 FB friends had reached out somehow instead of thinking it wouldn't matter). And it breaks my heart when I think about her beautiful daughter, who turned 4 just three weeks after her mommy died.

Happy birthday J. - may your soul rest in peace.

#MicroblogMondays is another great idea from Mel at Stirrup Queens. Join in!


Mina said...

How heartbreaking... How infinitely sad and desperate she must have been to leave her child behind like this.
How wierd that we write about battles, lost or not, on the same day though, no?

apluseffort said...


Valery said...

That is so weird to know. Without FB you wouldn't have known, not about her death, not about her birthday.
And I'm quietly wondering what the netiquette is for staying connected with someone who is no longer...

Lori Lavender Luz said...

You've made me more aware of paying attention to people today.

Lollipop Goldstein said...

What a bittersweet post. I don't think even 254+ people speaking up could overcome the pull of mental illness.

Fran said...

That is heartbreaking. Even though you were not really "friends", these types of news shake you to the core. Hugs.

St Elsewhere said...

I have ghost connections on that kind on my FB too.

Someone died in a road accident two days after sending a request on FB, and me accepting it. I did not know him well, and it gives me a hiccup to see his name crop up now and then. His password was also not shared with the family, so I guess it will not be deactivated soon.

Facebook can be used to paint a pic quite contrary to the actual life, and I think that can be done with most online media.

Rest in peace, J.