RIP or rest in peace, originates from the Latin term, Requiescat in pace. Although it is often associated with traditional Christian services and prayers, its usage now is open to people from all religions and regions. Social media outpourings of RIP as a response to funeral messages, especially at the passing away of a celebrity are not uncommon. From Hallmark cartoons of RIP engraved graves on Halloween to trending #rip hashtags on Twitter, the phrase seems to have lost its soul in everyday usage. People who use it, don’t necessarily seem to mean it.
Funeral Messages: What RIP Really Means And Alternatives You Can Use
RIP may attach a sense of distance when shared. If you didn’t believe me, here are more reasons for stopping this RIP train. There are kinder and more thoughtful ways to share your sense of shock, care and sadness. Here are some alternatives that you can use instead, when a friend or acquaintance shares the news of a passing on social channels.
Share a Prayer or a Psalm
Usually prayers and thoughts are comforting and also tend to be common across people from all cultures. Anyone going through a hard time appreciates your thoughtfulness.
Message the Person in Private
And not on social media. Let them know that you’re simply sorry about their loss. It takes a minute more, but it definitely more personal. It shows that you care.
Suggested Read: Death On Facebook: Is It The Right Medium For Grief?
Say Thank You for the Memories
This is true especially if you knew the decedent. Old memories are appreciated by loved ones.
Do Not Use Hashtags
Even for a celebrity or anyone that you did not know personally, a hashtag feels like a poor attempt to trend on the back on someone’s loss. It doesn’t feel empathetic. Retire all the #RIPs at once.
No one deserves to hear a sly comment, a complaint or anything negative when they’re going through a tough time. If your feelings are not positive, maintain a dignified silence. Why make someone else feel worse?
Suggested Read: What Not To Say To People Who Are Grieving
What are some of the ways you’ve found the communication from acquaintances and friends helpful? Share your experiences below.
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