How Do We Mourn In a Digital Age? 哀傷,在這新的世界?

in #mourn3 years ago (edited)

This is a question that I have no answers. It's open for everyone to think about.

I came across this post today about our loss of a brilliant Steemian @lauralemons. I seemed to see this name but cannot recall exactly. I wasn't privileged enough to know her but obviously a lot of old Steemians know her so I can feel their grief.

As I didn't know her, this post isn't about Laura. Just that the post reminds me of my past experience of mourning a close relative of mine. A few years back, I lost a younger cousin of mine. She was only a little over thirty back then. Let's call her Angel.

Angel was the daughter of my mom's sister. She was a warm, caring and optimistic person with always a smile on her face. Even she was diagnosed with a troublesome disease at a very young age, her smile wasn't seemed to be shadowed by this saddened incident. She and I weren't in the same city, so we did not see each other often. Mostly once a year during the new year holidays. But we feel close when we see each other every time.

She was in the service industry for her entire career. She likes to interact with people I guess although these kind of jobs don't get you good salaries here. I have always admired her braveness as had this happened to me, I would have been very depressed to even lead a normal life. Later when I got married and later was blessed with a lovely baby boy, Angel was there to cheer for us and very happy to be his auntie. Angel did not get married probably due to her disease, so she shared her love to those kids in the family including mine.

One day I was told that Angel passed away and I was speechless and shocked. She was probably the first close relative of my generation to pass away. How could it be? how could it? She was so young and beautiful and caring and nice and everything... Why would God want to take her away? Just like that. Life disappeared overnight. Without a sign.

I didn't go to her funeral as my family thought we were so close. We weren't and we were. I did not blame them for not letting me know. So I might had cried for a few hours and was depressed for a few days but I got over it as we did not really have very deep attachment.

Three months later. I received a message from facebook. Today is Angel's birthday! Write a birthday wish on her timeline ... It was then I realize for the first time that people don't die on facebook. They can live as long as facebook shall live. I checked all the most recent messages on her page. Three months ago, there were a lot of messages expressing condolences. Some were even told by these mourning and got shocked. How advanced are we to learn others' death from internet messages...

As I checked Angel's photos of her fantastic life (yeah, quite a lot of places she had been to and a lot of cuisines she had eaten), I felt relieved to see her had a good run but at the same time I knew that facebook messages sometimes do not even come close to one's real life. I could only hope for the better.

I wrote a few words for her as well. Still a happy birthday to her although she had started another one. And said something like she will always be on our mind. I had no one to say to except facebook version of her.

I knew that at this time next year, facebook would notify me again. As no one will ever want to turn that page off. Angel will always be there. Always like that in her thirty's. She will not get old like we will. One day her nephew will grow to be his auntie's age...

In this digital age, we can all have a version of us online, on the blockchain maybe ... maybe even your entire life can be mostly recorded in the future ... If the technology is going to gather more and more information or even get an AI to mimic the dead, it will certainly make us dizzy and wonder what death means then....

Still, at the bottom of my heart, I know that she had left. No matter how many photos there are how many words she said there are... She was long gone. And I can imagine that even an AI can pretend to be her to some extreme standard, I can tell the difference.

The way we mourn our love ones' death is always the same. Never will it change. What changes is only the format. Deep down there is no other way for a human to mourn a human. If there is, we are not human any more.

Sorry, the blockchain does not have answer this time.

pretty-woman-1509956_640.jpg
image - pixabay

今天意外看到這篇文章,說的是一個令人悲傷的消息,一位資深的Steemian @lauralemons過世了。我對於這名字有模糊的印象,但應該沒有什麼交集或淵源,只是看到許多老用戶在悼念她,同感到悲傷而已。

這讓我想到,多年前我一個表妹的過世。表妹是一個開朗樂觀、永遠臉上帶著微笑的小女孩。在我心中,她永遠是這樣一個可愛的女孩,只是後來我已經看不到她變老了。

表妹長年在南部,偶而也到過台北工作過幾年,但我們通常很少機會見面。過年時回老家,親戚聚會是最可能的場合。她總是笑咪咪,開朗迎人,我從不曾在她臉上看過哀傷。但造化弄人,表妹在年紀很輕時就被診斷出一種不好對付的疾病,當時我們知道後都感到十分震驚,但她臉上的笑容卻似乎從不曾受到影響。媽媽偶爾會更新她治療的情況,但我總是不忍多聽,後來似乎也穩定了,生活工作都可以如常。

她在餐飲類服務業工作,可能也是跟她喜歡與人互動有關,即使這行業在台灣並不容易出頭也不容易有高一點的薪水,她仍然樂在其中。聽到她一點一滴在累積自己的資歷,我們也為她感到高興。可能因為生病之故,她都沒有走向結婚這條路,就連男朋友也沒有聽人提起過。但她的愛可以分享給家人,我結婚時,生小孩時,她都參與其中且可以感受到她的真心歡喜。

幾年前某天,家人通知我,表妹過世了。一時之間,我感到無可置信。她還這麼年輕啊?上天為什麼要這麼殘酷呢?這麼好的一個人,這麼豐沛的愛,世界真的就這麼殘忍嗎?當時,死亡對我來說,都是七老八十的家族親長們,悲傷固然,悲痛不至於,這是生命的常態,說得過去。三十年華的表妹,說不過去,不合理,不應該。沒有人會回答你這問題。痛哭幾小時,再加上幾天的低落情緒後,我算是終於走出這情緒,畢竟我們不算真正有培養深厚的家人般的情感。面對這些,只能讓時間過去。

三個月後,我臉書接到一個訊息,通知我今天是表妹的生日,要我留言祝福。那是我第一次意識到,臉書可以讓你長生不老,永遠存在,只要伺服器不關。我都忘記我有她臉書了。於是我瀏覽著她臉書過去三個月來的訊息,三個月前,哀悼的訊息湧入,祝福她一路好走,下輩子再做朋友等等... 還有人明顯是到這裡才被通知死訊,震驚於此事的發生... 好殘忍的時代啊,臉書通知妳臉友的死亡...

我看著表妹過往的照片,她一如過往般的,似乎在三個月前的時光裡,仍那般快樂悠閒。拉拉拉拉,你可以上看她這幾年的生活,到哪裡去玩,吃了什麼東西,轉通知朋友什麼生活小訊息,開心跟其他朋友合照等等... 一切都還在,彷彿觸手可及... 雖然臉書所呈現的生活,跟真正的生活有可能是天差地別的,但我們作為生者,總是願意相信任何亡者曾經非常快樂的徵候,總是希望她不曾有過遺憾,走的時候快速而安靜,趕緊下一趟美好的旅程...

我也不免俗地留下紀錄。祝福她這一生的生日快樂,希望她下一生也早日快樂。告訴她,我們永遠會念著她。顯然是寫給我自己看的。她已經走了,不在臉書上了,但也許我們不知道,其實她看得見?那時我知道,明年此時,我還會收到通知,我相信祖克伯的工程師們。

沒有人會有動機想去關掉表妹的帳戶,家人尤其是。誰不希望能永遠看到她這樣的存在。她的臉書版本,會一直存在,她不會變老,我們才會。兒子長大了,他還不太記得的表阿姨可能漸漸跟他同一年紀。這世界,這數位的世界,甚至是這區塊鏈的世界,可以把人都數位化了,栩栩如生你看過嗎?相片比本人更真實。影像不用說,聲音不用說,甚至以後會有AI來模擬人的說話與表情?可能還能在我七十大壽時聽到表妹的祝賀?

天啊?那樣的世界又該怎麼面對?我們既不捨於亡者的離去,難道就能接受他們的永存?

內心深處,我知道表妹就是走了。在多相片、影音甚至AI都無法模擬。她早已經走遠了,我們也該離開了,彼此懷著記憶裡的愛離開吧。數位化、智慧化,都只是表象。

一個人類哀悼另一個人類的死亡,只能有一種方式。那就是讓時間遺忘傷痛,留下美好的記憶。或就是只是遺忘。

這是不會變的。如果有一天變了,那人類可能也不再是人類了吧?

區塊鏈今天請閉嘴吧。


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For loving people there remains a place in the memories, good memories will not gone with her.

Wow!! That is so very very very deep!!! You're right memories will be there.

Really cool article, I enjoyed a lot reading it! Thanks for sharing with us, the audience ;)

Update!!!
Check out my latest post here : https://steemit.com/life/@benjy87/you-wanted-something-interesting-you-got-something-mind-blowing-2017910t20740270z

Thank you!

Is that Chinese??? I love their way of writing. What I don't love is when I don't understand what it says :)

Yes, Chinese writing is something else... Really cool!

Well the issue of mourning a loved through social media is quiet not as realistic as our naturalmeans of mournig is. True we might from time to time be reminded of them through the internet but within our very selves we hold them dear to our hearts and in my opinion that alone is enough

And with each format changing as our lives - and technology - move forward, it feels more and more shallow (and so does almost every field of our lives), or so I think.

People have their ways of mourning, of course, we all differ when it comes to expression, but deep down I cannot seem to fathom how people can mourn something like the death of a person they knew or were close to them by sad emojis, emoticons, some small sad reply to a sad post and what have you on facebook (or whatever the social platform is) instead of doing something more meaningful in their name.

Granted, those people could very well be actually mourning them, or simply had no other means of expression and i'm just being a controversial (as I already made, and I quote myself, a "small sad reply" even though I knew her - or of her - not, until today) nitpicking brat with a very limited perspective on how people think and process things, which is the probably case here.

Your post is definitely something to think about.

thanks for your valuable input.

Thanks @deanliu for sharing this. It really tugged at my heart. I left the SF bay area in 89. When facebook started gaining steam, I went on and found all my old friends. One friend, Dave, accepted my friend request, but never seemed to post or respond. He's too busy I thought. A couple months later another friend informed me Dave had passed away a year prior, and that his daughter was maintaining his Facebook account. (To Dave, I miss ya bro.) Thanks again.

Hi Dave, you have a great friend!

Hey you, habla Español?

when in time of sadness people say to the actual sad people ''i know how you feel, i am very sorry that this happened to you'' to comfort them, they really don't feel it. people might think what kind of trauma a person is going through but they can never feel the same thing unless that happens to them too. so that sentence is totally worthless. also we can not possibly feel sad for someones death who we don't know. there are way too many people dying every day. can't feel for all of them

I know that you mean. thanks for stopping by.

I remember when I lost my grandmother and grandfather, I grief in a moment but later on I learn to accept it. Instead I cherish the best memory we have when they still with me. Until now, 20 years later, I can vividly see those memories like yesterday.

Thanks for sharing your experience.

I had similar experience. A good friend of mine got killed in a car accident while he was in business trip in US. He was very young, around 30 and he was already a lecturer in university! This hit me very strongly at that time too. There was no FB to help us at that time so we could only keep him in our own memory!

FB used to be young persons' toys but as FB ages so do its users. So I imagine one day they will have to face this kind of issues - users pass away and what to do with their accounts? Maybe there will be a 'tomb' mode to turn on under circumstances ...

Now I confirm that you are old enough. Most youngsters don't know death.

I am at the age of going to funerals more than weddings.

Thank you for this post. I also did not know her. And found a touching post by @kaylinart about it. I went to @lauralemons account to find any clue for this tragedy. And found absolutly nothing. I almost doubted if she is a real person. In this age of remote communication, we develope a new unknown approach. Nothing can replace a hug. We send love over the net. But Nothing can replace a laugh with a smile and a brief touch on the hand.
We try to make a global whole platform for all the souls out there. But nothing can replace someone who dry your tears.

nothing? I actually saw a lot of signs, if I can call them such. She actually faced a lot of difficult situations - past abuse memories haunting, death of friends, financial difficulties... etc. nothing can justify ending her own life yet I choose not to judge. I can't imagine the pain from her excruciating past because I were not her.

This platform has its beauty, but we should not misunderstand its limitations.

Thanks my friend, I wish you have someone who makes you laugh, not just wipes your tears... :)

That is a sensitve wish

We all mourn in our own way, best to not let it go on too long and those we lose would usually want us to look forward and be positive so we can still live our lives while remembering them.

Graet post..Well the issue of mourning a loved through social media is quiet not as realistic as our naturalmeans of mournig is. True we might from time to time be reminded of them through the internet but within our very selves we hold them dear to our hearts and in my opinion that alone is enough

死亡是我们永远不可避免的,即便我们再不喜欢它,这一天也终究会来临。努力过好活着的每一天,便是对去世的亲人最好的回馈。

列入大偉語錄!:)

I can relate very much to your experience and I think social networks are probably the first form of technology that lets us live forever

it's a copy of us that lives. to be exact.

dear deanliu, feeling very sad after listening your storry which is heart touching and full of grief. at the end the story's conclusion and your message is valuable..
The way we mourn our love ones' death is always the same. Never will it change. What changes is only the format. Deep down there is no other way for a human to mourn a human. If there is, we are not human any more.
follow and resteemed..

you left something at the end for me think..bonds,love,passion..do we read them correctly? are we mistaken..people will come and go from our life,but still memories will stay with us..some will fade away a little with the march of the time..but some won't leave us until our soul departs,,nice post.thanks alot for sharing :)

my pleasure.

awesome

Excellent post, let's try to get answer

"I knew that at this time next year, facebook would notify me again. As no one will ever want to turn that page off. Angel will always be there. Always like that in her thirty's. She will not get old like we will."

Your post has quite a poetic ring to it. However, the question to my mind is, are we still "there", if no one remembers us and no one is there to receive the Facebook notification? Isn't memory worthless, unless it exists in a human mind, as opposed to a digital one?

In the olden days, people were written about in papers, at the latest in their paid obituary. Are they still "there", if only on yellowed paper or microfiche in the publisher's basement? What strange thoughts mortality vs. eternity can trigger...

Follow me at

interesting angle, well, let's enjoy life while we are still here. cheers!

Very Nice Information.Thanks for share post.

Although I many not agree. But overall a good read

Still, at the bottom of my heart, I know that she had left. No matter how many photos there are how many words she said there are... She was long gone. And I can imagine that even an AI can pretend to be her to some extreme standard, I can tell the difference.

nice post....
I like!!!!

hi my friend

Excellently written👌👌👌The blockchain doesn't 👌👌👌have a answer to life💐💐💐

Well putting to words the life of the deceased is one way to cherish and remember the departed.

Excellent post !!

one bitter reality of life experienced , but be practical in taking life as it part of life to see ups and downs, rise again to shine again.

But I like it:)

Excellently written! The blockchain doesn't have a answer to life.

its a remarkable post.

cool article thank's to share it with us , I have followed you !

Sweet people always stay sweetly in our memories .
Lets be positive and move ahead .

You are a great person. I like to read your articles. They come from the heart.

thanks, from my heart too.

But the way we pray has changed that some prayers have gone online

excellent post, beautiful photo friend, I invite you to see my new post, where I share photos taken by me to different animals, very similar to what you post, if you like you can leave me a comment with your opinion, greetings and a hug!

I really like your posts, maybe I'm interested in your post, I wait for your next posting @deanliu

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Nice post, i like

Beautiful pic and great article ..i like it ..thnks [email protected] deanliu

Excellent Post ... we need this type of post because we are going away from our main stream of society

致愛的人,晉一杯

晉一杯是錯字還是轟空用法?

是我的用法 :)

Inspirational post!

Nice !! ,, upvote for you

i like post <3

good question

FB does not allow to forget about memorable dates. FB recalls the Angels ...

"I knew that at this time next year, facebook would notify me again. As no one will ever want to turn that page off. Angel will always be there. Always like that in her thirty's. She will not get old like we will."

Woah man interesting stuff. What inspired you to write about this?

Talk soon.

Wow... excellent article . I enjoyed alot ,thank you for sharing dude ☺

@deanliu, this is so true of today's digital world. Unless these social media accounts also get closed at 'death', these notifications will forever be there. Recently HK, there were 2 suicides of a young couple that you can read at @sunray and people pulled out pictures from their facebook accounts to back track their lives before this tragedy hit. We are now all facing new dilemma. I am sure steemit it is going to be like this. One day when we all pass on, people will come in here to read about our lives.

如果再给你多一次机会,你会在你表妹过世前多跟她联系吗?

很遗憾她的早逝。时间是最好的疗伤药。祝好!

區塊鏈表示 : 我今天會乖乖的~

Wonderful...worth voting, too..

数字时代的账户保存是一个问题
特别是密码如何留给家人

Guys, my name is Leo I'm new here on steemit, I'm an ecommerce and marketing expert would love to bring some of my stuff over to steemit in the future, so please check out my profile, thanks!

https://steemit.com/bitcoin/@leo-tmp/2ua7wx-steemit-meets-ecommerce

Please help me to visit my blog @auliasiddiq

Again beautiful post :) 👍

亲戚或余悲,他人亦已歌。死去何所道,托体同山阿。
网络能上来的都是活着的。有些人死去了,谁也不知道。

The more I get older the more I get emotional about anything related to death and relationships, so thank you for sharing @deanliu, I guess at the end of the day mourning is also a way for the living to come to term with their own mortality, here in Vietnam people take mourning very seriously and continue honoring their ancestors long after they are gone; I wish the West had more of these traditions.

very beautiful picture, I really like it

R.I.P 一路走好

我會選擇遺忘~如果可以

I just lost a cousin a month ago. Until this day, I could hear his voice, loud and clear... his jokes that gave me tummy cramp. His generosity of giving and never taking. The night he left us without a sign... he was not sick. Infact we had a great dinner that night... apparently he had a heart attack in his sleep. He was only 45 years of age... I feel you, I feel your loss.. I pray Angel is somewhere in heaven....

My grandmothers FB Page never went away after she passed. I still go to it and have fond memories from the pictures and such on her page. Never Forget!

我也不认识Laura,也是从其他Steemian的文章中得知她选择了离开。但从其他Steemian的文字中可以知道她的离去时Steemit Community的一个损失,不过离去已是事实,无法改变。剩下的是回忆,就如你所说的人们都可以在FB里永远的“活着”。。。

did you read the post?

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