I have never imagined the scope of my online communications until last week when I got a call from a friend saying that she couldn’t bring herself to look at another friend’s Facebook page. She had been receiving phone calls and text messages that our friend, Reginald Myers had died.
It wasn’t after a long illness, or even after a car crash. He was at work, joking around, and being his jovial self. He went to the restroom and never returned. No drama, no long goodbyes, just…nothing.
That night was a frenzy with trying to figure out how something like this could happen to him. The guy that would never hurt anyone and always there when you called. I had seen him online earlier. He even posted a message to Facebook just eight hours earlier. But the news was spreading and people were posting condolence messages on his and his sister’s Facebook page. It seemed as if it were true. People have come to pay tribute. It is clear that he touched many lives.
For me, Reggie is more than just a screenname and an avatar. He is a guy that quickly became a friend when I moved to South Carolina six years ago. He, Seena Hodges, Collette Blakeney, Eddie Moore, and Kaela Harmon were just a few of the people that became more like family in a state that I still was coming to understand.
What amazed me on Thursday evening were the streams of messages being posted on Reggie’s page, which allowed people to begin to mourn the loss of our dear friend.
I think it’s fascinating to see that Facebook has become an integral technology for mourning, as well as for communicating someone’s death.