I’ve been doing some research about how the Internet changes the way we handle and cope with real life death, and I found a good quote today. It’s not exactly about the Internet and death, but it’s interesting to think about ways the Interne may have made relationships more complex and how that has affected who is socially allowed to grieve.
There are unwritten but familiar rules, however, about who is entitled to grieve. Pine, for example, claimed that in “compartmentalized society, funerals tend to be limited primarily to the ‘proper’ bereaved people. This has helped to create an underclass of grievers whose legitimacy may not even be recognized and whose needs are not addressed.” Doka (1989) identified these individuals as disenfranchised grievers: those whose grief occurs in relationships with no recognizable kin ties; those whose loss is not socially defined as significant; and those who are perceived to be incapable of grief (e.g., young children, very old adults, mentally-disabled persons)…As relationships become more complex, the likelihood of disenfranchised grief and disenfranchised death increases.
As somebody who has lost a couple of friends over the years that I was fairly close to (but not best friends with), this definitely hits home.
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