The most pedestrian idea on death simply says, live each day as it comes. However, it’s rarely as easy. We don’t know when it may hit us, even though we’re sure of its certainty. In a time where a passing may happen, how do we deal with it? I struggle with this thought a lot. Communicating news about a passing isn’t easy either. At a recent dinner a friend asked: “is it really okay to text about a death?” I decided to explore what I’d say if I could go back to that night, with a quote in hand, to help me answer more eloquently…
“Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.” – Emily Post
Channels to use when communicating about a death
Traditional and social network news consumption is changing in our world, we all know this. People no longer read printed newspapers, or even the web versions. Trending headlines are faster and more accessible than ever thanks to Twitter, bots, Reddit, 24 hour cable, and all the other channels that deliver an instant answer to “what’s going on today.”
The change in consumption of traditional news has bled into how we have become more accepting of alternative sources of life news. Would your grandparents take a Facebook post as official news? Of course not. But as we’ve all seen the younger generations sure do, and prefer it that way. Every day, people turn Facebook walls into memorial walls, noting “I’m sorry for your loss,” or tweet out “Uncle Jack died #RIP.” So, if everybody is already using these alternative channels to consume and distribute death news, why wouldn’t it be okay to text friends and family about a passing?
Text messaging has become one of the most convenient ways of communicating with the world around us – not just between our friends and family, but really with anyone we interact with in the short or long term. It’s a private, concise, timely, a guaranteed delivery (safe to say everyone opens a text), and most importantly lets the person take their time to craft a thoughtful message.
Saying Yes to Text Messages For Condolences
As long as you are sensitive, aware, and genuine – it is perfectly appropriate to text friends, family and community members about a death. You can either use text to notify them, or send condolences. Everdays recently launched an easy system to send and receive messages from family and friends privately. It’s heartfelt, simple and also personal- maintaining the dignity and respect for a loved one. These texts are arguably more timely than a potentially unopened email, or a public declaration on a Facebook wall. They say the millennial generation isn’t comfortable with death, and to be truthful as a Gen X’er, I’m not either. Any tool that eases the difficulty in dealing with and processing this type of event, I’m 100% in favor and support of.
No doubt do I think Ms. Post is right on – it doesn’t matter which fork you use as long as your intention is sincere.