Thursday, February 01, 2007

Comments after Death

About a year ago, a friend told me that an acquaintence of hers had committed suicide. Then, a few days later, she found out that the acquaintence's death was ruled a homicide, and that the deceased's boyfriend was the prime suspect. Just recently, the boyfriend has been acquitted. From what my friend had told me, it was a really odd trial and acquittal, so I searched for an article about this in the Baltimore Sun. In that article, I found out that the deceased had a MySpace page.

Morbid curiosity spurred me to find her page. And I saw that her friends have been leaving comments for her, lots of them, ever since she died. Things like "I just wanted to say hi and tell you I miss you." And, "Thanks for watching over the boys." And, "Could you please talk to God for me and tell him to turn the thermostat in Maryland up?"

This struck me as really, really odd and a little unhealthy. Don't get me wrong -- I've had conversations with my dearly departed, both in my head and at graveside, so the idea of communicating with those who have passed over isn't all that strange. What is strange to me is that MySpace is a pretty public forum, so whatever comments a user posts are there for all to see, snoops like me included. Those other things I've mentioned -- thoughts, tombstone chats, possibly even letters -- those are intensely private things. We don't speak them aloud in front of an audience, or leave them lying about for people to read. We'd be branded as nutters if we did.

There are a couple of people who have posted on her page really frequently, and I wonder how they can possibly be getting over her death. I guess you don't ever really get over someone being violently ripped away from you, but surely leaving comments on a MySpace page doesn't really help.

I don't have a neat summation, a "Final Thought" if you will, but it's been eating at me for a couple of days, so I thought I'd post it here. Anyone have any thoughts on it?

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