Social media and death announcements

Someone finds out that a person has died. Their heart fills with sadness and they want to solicit prayers for the grieving.

How do they let people know? They can call, but everyone is busy and phone numbers change quite often. The easiest path is to Facebook it. However, they must stop and think before they do.

A news article may say: “A 42 year-old male was found dead in his home. His name has been withheld pending notification of family.”

Yet, social media presents a formidable obstacle in handling this properly. Families must develop a policy concerning deaths among their relatives. Absolutely no one announces the death on social media until all the relatives and close friends are properly notified and permission is granted.

With almost one billion accounts on Facebook, we must all be aware of these things. No one should find out about the death of a loved one through social media. The wounds of grief are too deep to make it worse by callousness.

Soliciting prayers for the suffering before they know they are grieving is cruelty.

Death is coming for everyone (Hebrews 9:27) and grieving for a deceased loved one is part of the human experience (John 11:35). Accordingly, how would we want to be treated (Matthew 7:12)?

The Lord is full of compassion (Psalm 86:15; Matthew 9:36) and we must be, as well. Be cautious and gentle. It’s about the grieving, not us.

Grief creates wounds that are second to none and those who suffer are especially fragile and vulnerable. Therefore, one misstep can turn a person away from the Lord forever. Are we willing to do that just so we can make an announcement?

Sensitivity is paramount since people say some heartless things to the grieving. So let us be very careful in these matters.

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