Any type of loss can bring difficult decisions, and cyberloss is no different. Over the past six years (five years since losing Chris, just over a year since losing Kim) many unexpected difficulties have come my way. They all seem to be part of the choice to move forward (not move on- ‘moving on’ to me means forgetting) and let go of some of the suffering.
Finding a source of support in making those decisions is vital. It’s not advisable to try to make them by yourself…as I’ve said before, having somebody to talk with about these issues is helpful.
The first difficult decision I had to make after Chris’ passing revolved around the destruction of journals I had meticulously kept during her illness. (In those days it boiled down to ‘If you don’t write, you won’t be able to sleep.’) Kim helped me through that…simply by agreeing that I had made the right choice. Eventually, in 2009, I plucked up the courage to burn the pages which dealt with Chris’ passing…as those events are seared into my consciousness anyway.
It was ultimately healing to have disposed of the journals in that way, but if I thought that would be the last of the difficult decisions, I was wrong. I thought for months about getting back into contact with Chris’ family, and ended up doing that in 2008. Although it was brief, receiving an email from Chris’ husband informing me that her family were well and adjusting to Chris’ absence was a comfort to me. Through getting back in touch with her family, I also got back in touch with a friend of hers, who then sent some pictures I’d not seen before. It was beautiful to think that he cared enough to share them with me.
More recent difficult decisions have involved the deletion of my MySpace account, which was my primary means of staying in contact with Kim. Now she is no longer around, I don’t need the account, but deleting it was another matter entirely.
I eventually managed it…I’d reached a point where I needed to do the task or let it consume me for another year. My only stumbling block then was MySpace customer service…but this blog isn’t about that.
I made the decision to delete emails from when Kim was hospitalised in February this year. I had no inclination to do a search of my email inbox and find the ones from that period prior to that point. I still have a number of messages to deal with, but I will when I feel up to the task.
More to come on this subject in the future, but I think this post is long enough.
Please find somebody who is willing to support you when making decisions about your online friend’s mementos. It doesn’t mean it’s the easiest thing in the world, but it lightens the load.
Wishing you peace and strength on your journeys,
- Cyberloss, grief, memories and choices (navigatingcyberloss.wordpress.com)
- ‘They always know they’re loved’: musings on cyberloss, grief and love (navigatingcyberloss.wordpress.com)
- Discussing cyberloss in the outside world (part 2) (navigatingcyberloss.wordpress.com)
- Discussing cyberloss in the outside world. (navigatingcyberloss.wordpress.com)