An ewe mourning her lamb in the painting Anguish by August Friedrick Schenck.
Anguish by August Friedrick Schenck (1828-1901) | Wikimedia Commons

Cybergrief has no unsubscribe button

My fantasy is to be able to choose my grief. I want to mark as spam all the grief in the world that I cannot handle. But grief born on the internet doesn't care for my fantasy.

Sanity by Tanmoy

S, G, and T are dead. But not on Twitter. Their final tweets – an SOS for a hospital bed, a video of a spinning cricket ball, a message about a surgery they wouldn't return from – ricochet endlessly between likes and retweets by grieving followers.

I remember watching this in the middle of a delirious spell of Covid fever and feeling bad for the twitter handles, bobbing around, lost, like so many unfree souls. I wanted to free them by unfollowing them, but it felt... disrespectful? Too soon?

Nobody taught us the proper protocol for social media funerals.