Anniversaries and milestones make all grief experiences difficult, and they’re often nigh-on impossible to escape. Those of us who have experienced an online loss may not have the opportunity, often will not have the opportunity to mark these dates in conventional ways.
So, the importance of the community increases. It is a particularly good idea during the first year of an online grief experience to mark the anniversaries and milestones within the community, again using them as an opportunity to share what that person meant to you, share a favourite story if you’re comfortable.
It is often the way of online communities that there will not be an immediate response to something like that, so it is advisable to not get disheartened if your effort seems to fall by the wayside. After all, although our grief experience is different in many ways, it can also be exactly the same, in that certain people who did not enjoy the same closeness with the person lost can be eager to move on after a period of time.
However, in my view at least, if a person has made an impression, their being forgotten is the last thing that should happen. As in family groups, there seems to be an unspoken rule that it is OK to talk about something somebody said or did many years ago at an occasion, so it should be in online groups. It is unfortunate, in my opinion that much of the same attitude seems to carry over into our grief experience.
What have you done/will you do to remember that person within your online community? Feel free to leave a comment to share and show the ways in which it is possible to celebrate within an online community.