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Old 11-24-2010, 08:48 AM   #1
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Facebook and Death
Hey there...

I just wanted to post about something strange.

It came out yesterday, that a man I had gone to school with, through out middle school and high school was found on the side of the road, under suspicious circumstances.

http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/loc...TorontoNewHome

I don't need condolences...and remember the name, and I remember he was a friendly guy, but I was never in the same class(es), in fact, I really couldn't say we spoke.

Facebook is such a strange place when it comes to death. I actually probably would have never known about this had it not been for a few old high school people posting up RIPs.

A year or so back now, a person I used to work with, a dancer, a performer, and super nice girl died from cancer and facebook exploded with tributes and to this day leave her messages daily about how much they miss her. I remember because someone had posted about how a star had fallen, and I spent a good couple days digging to the bottom of what happened...after all...she was my age (30) and it felt strange that she had just slipped away. Again, didn't know her well. Worked with her for a summer or so, but in this case had actually spent time chatting a few times. One of those people that had an effect on everyone she met. After flipping through her face book for a bit, yeah...there was talk of cancer treatments...and eventually a co-worker followed up with she got hit pretty hard and fast with a stage 4 lung cancer.

Again...probably would have heard it through the grapevine, much later, in a bizarre conversation...but here is facebook...the biggest, thinnest grapevine of them all, lining the internet super highway...

I suppose it is no different than when everyone got scared when TV started being able to broadcast about distant events. All of a sudden...all the worlds drama was dropped right into your living room...and things that were happening on the other side of the earth, were all of a sudden happening right here...in real time.

Facebook is kinda like a very personalized TV report, bringing all that news right to your desktop, or cell phone, or iPod...and it is such a strange feeling. I am 31...and I still feel invincible if not a little weary and beaten down sometimes. But people my age are being brought down by ailments, and others and accidents every day. And it all just feels so surreal.

Thanks for listening...
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Old 11-29-2010, 03:24 AM   #2
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Similarly I was Listening to the Radio
I was noticing how many songs (from country to rap) are talking about living in the moment and not taking tomorrow for granted.

Tim McGraw, "Live like you were dying"
Nickelback, "If Today was your last day"
Five for Fighting, "100 years"
Five For Fighting, "The Riddle"
Kris Allen, "Live Like We’re Dying”

I'm in my mid 40s so I guess the better half of my life is past?

..then you hear Katy Perry sing "teenage dream"

Yep, youth is waisted on the young..

What would I do different?

Not too much, as I wouldn't want to miss out on meeting and marrying my dear wife, or having our four children...

Still, wish I had some of that youthful energy and the gumption to go where ever, when ever, how ever, to see more of the world's beauty in peoples and places...

Life is a precious, "limited time offer," gift and we should make the most of what we are given.

I've learned that sometime, making the most of it means taking an afternoon nap. Other times it means staying up to see meteor showers or a lunar eclipse.

I've missed some opportunities, like now I'll never be an astronaut on the space shuttle, nor even see one launch or land in person.

I have seen The Moody Blues and also Fleetwood Mac in concert. I did see Riverdance on stage. We (wife and I) saw Joan Jett and John Parr play at our University.
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Old 11-29-2010, 06:54 PM   #3
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Jack, You're a much more thoughtful and deeper person than I first thought. However, I wonder where your mind is? Maybe you're in the dumps about something?

You're in your mid-forties? Do you have a terminal disease we don't know about? Are you going blind? If you are then Mea Culpas. If not then quit yer belly achin'.

When I was in my 40's and my kids were, finally, all in school, I learned to ride and jump horses. It was just something I had to do cause I never got over seeing "National Velvet" as a child. One goal I made that was both satisfying and painful. Ever get to a jump with a very polite horse? He says, "O.K. You first".

You're in N.Car.? I may be missing something here. Why can't you see a shuttle launch in Fla.? Plan for it! It'll probably cost less than your concert tickets. If that's what you really want. We all have to make choices. Talk to your family about what you want.

So you won't be an astronaut. You're eager to breathe through an oxygen mask and pee into a tube? (Oh joy, that gets recycled and you get to drink it!). . . just get a disease and go to the hospital. It takes a helluva lot less training and they'll give you drugs that'll make you think you're in space, weightless, mindless, helpless or any other "less" you can imagine :>)


You're very young in the scheme of time,Jack, and you can develop some new goals. I'll add to your statement, "Life is a limited time offer." and go even further. Life is a death sentence! Sounds pretty harsh, but true and much more apt if you really think about it. Every one, except astronauts, gets off this planet the same way. But, you've got a lot more livin' to do so PLAN FOR IT and start right now!
Sincerely,
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P.S. If you want a really hard job, treat everyone you meet as if it were their last day.
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:04 PM   #4
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Just the Subject of the Thread
Originally Posted by wellslipmystitches View Post
Jack, You're a much more thoughtful and deeper person than I first thought. However, I wonder where your mind is? Maybe you're in the dumps about something?

You're in your mid-forties? Do you have a terminal disease we don't know about? Are you going blind? If you are then Mea Culpas. If not then quit yer belly achin'.

Jean,

Nope, no disease. I feel great and am enjoying holiday cheer.

It started with the topic of the OP. [Memorial on Facebook] and I wanted to point out with songs that it seem like pop-culture has shifted more focus on the morose or death?

Oh and you can add movies like "Bucket List" to the pop-morose group.


Originally Posted by wellslipmystitches View Post
You're in N.Car.? I may be missing something here. Why can't you see a shuttle launch in Fla.? Plan for it! It'll probably cost less than your concert tickets. If that's what you really want. We all have to make choices. Talk to your family about what you want.

Because the Space Shuttle program is at its end. No more launches! ** Thus I can not be a shuttle astronaut. It was a childhood dream, but I choose other interest on tierra firma.

Oh, and I had won the tickets for the Moody Blues concert in a radio show give-away.

**Oops I was Wrong! There are two more shuttle launches scheduled before the end of it's era.

Dec 17, STS-133, is the last scheduled launch of Discovery. Site: Kennedy Space Center - Launch Pad 39A. Launch window: 10 minutes beginning 8:51 p.m. EST

Feb 27, STS-134, is the last launch of Endeavour and the last for all STS (Space Transport System "space shuttle") missions. Site: Kennedy Space Center - Launch Pad 39A. Launch window: 10 minutes beginning 3:35 p.m. EST

Robotnaut 2 or R2 is a NASA humanoid robot will be launching in Dec to be permanently stationed on the ISS.
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Old 12-03-2010, 01:45 AM   #5
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I have mixed feelings about all that social media stuff......on the one hand, it can help you find people you lost contact with, however, once you do, you wish you hadn't because everyone changes and they just won't be the same.

Social media sucks a ton of time from my life and from knitting .....AND, as in the stories of the people you mentioned, it seems to facilitate keeping in touch with people I really don't care to have any contact with.

An old friend from high school has found me and tried friending me twice. I liked him (as a friend) then......but we couldn't be more different now. We are totally different people and have NOTHING in common, so why friend each other?!? I'm sure he'd say the same about me.

I heard one of the Stash 'n Burn gals say that Facebook is the place where people you wanted out of your life find you.

The thing about leaving messages on the dead people's FB page is creepy to say the least!
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Old 12-04-2010, 02:50 PM   #6
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Wow, Jack, you're really into the space genre aren't you?! You know a lot more about it than I. I knew the program would be changing, everything does, but some things stay the same. For instance, who is going to be in the ISS to take care of Mr. R2-Who2? when he needs an oil change,lube job and his circuitry isn't circuitry-ing (is that a word?)—well let's make it one.

Perhaps the new focus on Mars will be drawing what money is available for space exploration . . . the main change, maybe?

To an earlier point: You mentioned "energy and gumption". Don't you know that Mother Nature gave all the energy to the kids just so they could keep us on our toes?

Maybe you could change your word gumption to freedom. Any one with a family has a difficult time pursuing dreams and goals. I'm sure most would agree.

Still, I wonder? This seems very important to you. Is it absolutely impossible for you to get to that last launch in Feb.? Surely, there must be a way! Maybe you could find some one online who is going? I guess if launches are delayed because of problems it can be expensive to hang around. I'm sure you can't take off from work when you want to. (Takes lots of money to raise kids - they want to eat and wear new clothes too, at the same time!) I also don't know if you need special permission or tickets to attend a launch. I could go on for a while telling you more that I don't know but I'll quit.

Just explore the possibilities.
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:44 AM   #7
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I hear ya, Crycket. Looks like Jack's story took over yours, hey?

well, I'll respond to you by saying: "that's why I bypass Facebook". I don't like it, most of it is like eavesdropping on trivial conversations in a restaurant. Unless you need to get a message to someone who is very very busy (like my 3 kids (in their 30's)).

I also agree that writing publicly to the dead is creepy. Maybe people have unfinished business and it makes 'em feel better.

Social media seems like just TMI! We only have two ears, and only so much life-energy to spare, so we need to be selective as to what we read, who we spend time with, what we say even.....and since I meditate every day, I can tell you that I have to bypass even most of my own thoughts! Some that whiz through my own head need to get zapped quickly. Sheesh! where do they come from? I'm just sittin' here, nice and quiet, trying to watch each breath, and zing! - outta nowhere comes a stupid thought of something or someone that has maybe no relevance whatsoever to my current life.

Which is why it's so great when you know you have choices and know a few techniques for filtering.

I think a new slogan for today ougta be: 'Just Choose'! or "Choose more carefully" or "Watch those choices!". What do you think? I'm sure you could come up with a few more modern ways of putting it. I'm getting old, and fogey-sounding.
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Old 12-13-2010, 01:31 AM   #8
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It is bizarre.

For anyone that has experienced that shock of losing someone. Where you can't understand why the world can keep going about its business when you have lost a huge chunk of you....
Facebook is just really strange.

I mean...I mentioned the girl I used to work with. Because we were working in theatre, there are so many friends in common. That 6 degrees of separation thing is no joke! But it was odd cause when my BFFs mother died (and I practically lived in that house with them for 5 or so years in highschool) there was barely a word. Given the girl from work was 30, and knew how to use a computer, and my BFFs mom didn't so much as own a computer....

I don't know if I am totally getting out what I am trying to get across...other than to say part of it is....everyone that leaves us, leaves us with a hole, and it doesn't matter if there are 300 people attesting to it, or just you on your own...but wow...Facebook really drives that home.

On a less morbid note, I have not figured out if FB is the scourge of our time, or the best thing since sliced bread. I assume the answer lies straight down the middle line. It is fantastic that all those people I would have long forgotten about are now someplace that I can chat with and such. But on the other hand, there are all those people I would like to leave long forgotten.

I guess...it is just a sign of the times huh? Nobody is safe!
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Old 12-13-2010, 04:11 AM   #9
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I'm not a big FB user anymore, I gave up on the social media thing preferring to spend time with people in real life but I will say, Many years ago I was in a long term abusive relationship that destroyed my life and took years to rebuild myself after. I ran into him by accident at a club last year and was actually hiding behind a box before I stopped my self and realized why am I still so afraid. It's been 5 years since I left him and I am still haunted by it.

A few months ago I moved with my BF to a new town. Along the way I realized I am a new person and finally free of him. I applied for a name change and even had it published in a foreign language paper, thinking there would be less chance of him finding it. 2 days later thanks to the wonders of FB I found out he died. I hadn't contacted him in so many years and after seeing him by accident last year I lost track of him. I always liked to know where he was and what he was up too, a way of keeping myself sane and even warning others about him.

If it hadn't been for total strangers posting about his death I would never have known. Thanks to FB I found out about his death a few hours after it happened. I thought that would give me the closure I needed so badly but I realized I got that closure years ago, I just didn't know it till I heard he died.

It did bother me seeing all the random strangers posting about oh poor him and blah blah blah, with out realizing the thrash this guy was (he left 6 kids behind, not with me, lol) and seeing how they had set up a memorial page in his honor and asking for donations for the 2 kids of his they did know about. But I got over it quickly. I even bit my tongue and didn't say what I really wanted to, even know I wanted to celebrate and pee on his grave. (sorry I had to rant)
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Old 01-20-2011, 06:01 PM   #10
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A woman I knew through DHs road cycling club (it has a lot of members) who I had only spoken to via FB (she's a state or two from us) had been fighting cancer since (!) 2003 and she was one tough broad who kicked cancer in the b-lls with a grin. I told her a few times that I thought she was one tough broad etc. She did triathlons and long, hardcore bike rides etc while undergoing constant chemo/treatments etc. She didn't let the cancer ruin her life. Unfortunately, it metastized to her brain recently and she quickly declined. One of her daughters used her mom's FB account to let us know she was out of hospice and sent home (to die.) The outpouring of love, support etc from all that knew her was something else.

She died a few days ago, with her family around her and all of her huge pile of friends/acquaintances with her in thought/spirit. I like to think she died on her own terms and lived life to the fullest. I am sad she isn't around to post crude/funny things to my statuses and tell me how she gained 70lbs each time she was pregnant etc.

If I can be half as tough and brave as Nancy was, I'm good!
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