Author Topic: RIP messages on FB before family informed  (Read 9539 times)

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Sharnita

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Re: RIP messages on FB before family informed
« Reply #30 on: September 21, 2012, 04:25:37 PM »
I could see the friend calling mutual friends for support.  I think the article also mentioned that the daughter had issues with drugs.  If one or two of her friends did as well their judgement might not be real fine tuned as far as what not to post on social media.

I think that it can be useful to use social media to express condolences and inform people.  A friend posted her mom's obit on fb.  I am not sure I would have heard her mom passed away, let alone made the visitation.  In my own family, we were thankful to be informed via fb.  A relative died across the country and was found when neighbors noticed his papers piling up.  The police didn't track us down - nobody was informed and his body just sat in county morgue.  A few friends managed to track down one of us via fb and basically had to send a message saying "If you are the relative of X I have  some news I am sorry to share...".  It was several days later and the authorities had made no attempt to track us down. No idea when or if they would have found us.

Cat-Fu

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Re: RIP messages on FB before family informed
« Reply #31 on: September 21, 2012, 04:29:29 PM »
How awful, Sharnita. :(

I do think there is a time and a place for facebook mourning, but that time is not within the first three hours of death. I don't see a lot wrong with it in general, but what a terrible way to find out about a loved one. :(
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Sharnita

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Re: RIP messages on FB before family informed
« Reply #32 on: September 21, 2012, 04:35:46 PM »
yeah, 3 hours is too soon but I can't say that I see fb or social media as inappropriate for mourning in general.  As far as our experience it was not ideal but the people who notified us were wonderful and ended up being tremendously helpful as we tried to deal with issues and an estate from across the country.  They were also able to fill in some blanks and reassure us regarding questions we had.  Social media allowed us to make contact with wonderful people we never would have met otherwise.

Mikayla

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Re: RIP messages on FB before family informed
« Reply #33 on: September 21, 2012, 05:05:15 PM »
With stuff like this, the only litmus test I have is whether there are circumstances under which I would ever do what this friend did.  And the answer is a resounding no.

I don't think it has anything to do with asking the mom's permission, only to discover she hadn't heard.  That's because I think it's abnormal to call a parent that soon anyway (unless close family, obviously).  It had just been a couple of hours!

I've had close friends die twice since high school, and sure...several of us called each other to talk about it.  But there's a huge difference between a finite convo like that vs the implications and potential of plastering it on FB.

In a way, it's like hijacking someone else's tragedy.

oogyda

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Re: RIP messages on FB before family informed
« Reply #34 on: September 22, 2012, 03:03:47 PM »
I don't blame the police - 3 hours doesn't seem a massive period of time. It also occurs to me that finding the mother's name & address may not have been straightforward - after all, daughter probably *knew* her mum's address - so may not have kept it written down anywhere easily accessible - and if all you have is an entry in someone's phone saying 'mum' that doesn't help much (as PPs have said, the police would generally break this kind of news in person.

The 'friend' who made the post was incredibly thoughtless.

It isn't a massive period of time. 

This brings to mind the death of a dear friend.  He was killed in a motor vehicle accident on his way home from work.  Friend's wife was home, fixing dinner and had the news on.  She caught sight of her DH's very recognisable vehicle and saw a sheet covered gurney being loaded into an ambulance. 

She freaked out, gathered friends and waited.....for hours.

This was further complicated by the fact the he was active duty military, so the police turned it over to his command to contact her according to their protacol, which meant it had to be done in person, by members of a certain rank, etc.

Even though she already *knew*, the wait was horrible.
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kherbert05

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Re: RIP messages on FB before family informed
« Reply #35 on: September 22, 2012, 05:40:24 PM »


That's very unfortunate what happened to that poor mother, but I'm inclined to think it wasn't the fault of the police.  I guess it's hard to know without actually knowing how much time had lapsed between the death and the police informing her.  Maybe they had noone available to go out to the house immediately, perhaps it took some time to locate the mothers address?

According to the article I linked:  Ms James was pronounced dead at 8.17pm but officers did not arrive until 11.38pm to tell her mother in person. So three and half hours.

It also sounds like they answered the cell phone when she called before notifying her but just said somebody was coming around.  I don't know exactly what the protocol should be but that doesn't sound like a great way to handle it.


I think that police don't want to notify over the phone, because
1. YOu can't be sure who you are actually talking to.
2. If the person goes into shock, or gets ill you have no way of helping them.


I'm in Houston - 3 hours doesn't sound like a long time for the cops to take to notify a family - especially of a death.
They have to
1. Confirm they have the correct ID of the dead person
2. Make sure they have the correct next of Kin
3. Travel to where the next of kin are and notify them in person. In Houston just getting to the next of kin could take an hour.


Apparently TV and Movies have given people the idea these things happen faster than they do in real live. Maybe it is because I'm a sci fi fan but I never think fiction has anything to do with real life.
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kareng57

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Re: RIP messages on FB before family informed
« Reply #36 on: September 22, 2012, 06:46:27 PM »


That's very unfortunate what happened to that poor mother, but I'm inclined to think it wasn't the fault of the police.  I guess it's hard to know without actually knowing how much time had lapsed between the death and the police informing her.  Maybe they had noone available to go out to the house immediately, perhaps it took some time to locate the mothers address?

According to the article I linked:  Ms James was pronounced dead at 8.17pm but officers did not arrive until 11.38pm to tell her mother in person. So three and half hours.

It also sounds like they answered the cell phone when she called before notifying her but just said somebody was coming around.  I don't know exactly what the protocol should be but that doesn't sound like a great way to handle it.


I think that police don't want to notify over the phone, because
1. YOu can't be sure who you are actually talking to.
2. If the person goes into shock, or gets ill you have no way of helping them.


I'm in Houston - 3 hours doesn't sound like a long time for the cops to take to notify a family - especially of a death.
They have to
1. Confirm they have the correct ID of the dead person
2. Make sure they have the correct next of Kin
3. Travel to where the next of kin are and notify them in person. In Houston just getting to the next of kin could take an hour.


Apparently TV and Movies have given people the idea these things happen faster than they do in real live. Maybe it is because I'm a sci fi fan but I never think fiction has anything to do with real life.


I agree that three hours doesn't sound like a long time at all - and IME the police never notify the next-of-kin over the phone, it must be in person.  And it can take a long time to track down the  NOK.  The deceased might not have had her mom's phone number in an address book (if she always knew it, no need to write it down) and young people don't always have the contact-info for their friends' NOK.

Naturally no one should have posted on FB before the mother was notified - but I'd put that down to just plain thoughtlessness as opposed to appallingly rude.

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Re: RIP messages on FB before family informed
« Reply #37 on: September 22, 2012, 06:49:37 PM »
I agree with Kherbert. Not everyone has next of kin contact information with them. And they want to be sure they're telling the right person that their child is dead- nobody wants to make an error on this.
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And how, and when, and where.
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VorFemme

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Re: RIP messages on FB before family informed
« Reply #38 on: September 22, 2012, 07:45:13 PM »
Heck - my mother called her sisters in the first hour or so - but had to start running around getting things ready for Grandma to be taken "home" (eight hours or so across Texas - I don't think that they rush to drive someone to a morgue or funeral parlor like they would to an emergency room - so probably longer than eight hours for that drive).

She got side tracked before calling her children and grandchildren - it happens.  But Cousin FaceBook had to get it on-line before three hours had passed - while Mom was still running around to the rest home, the hospital (morgue), their house (stored clothing preselected by Grandma some time earlier), the church (preacher's wife and preacher had things to do, too), and back home - where WE called her before she'd had a chance to grab a drink & sit down with the phone and her kids' phone numbers (old style phone - no programmed numbers on it).

Still not happy with the water under that bridge - but I can only try to do better if & when it is my turn to be the one running errands & making phone calls.

And I carry my cell phone AND a charger for it in the car - Mom doesn't.  They have one - they just don't reach for it on the way out the door the way "younger" people do (hey, I know I'm twenty years younger than my mother)!
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ShadesOfGrey

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Re: RIP messages on FB before family informed
« Reply #39 on: September 23, 2012, 09:32:58 AM »
Why can't it be the same as births? Wait until you *know* the nearest and dearest have been informed-by them posting or telling you it's ok to post. If traditional media can't do it until notification, I don't see any pressing need for the fb world to know.
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MummyPumpkin83

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Re: RIP messages on FB before family informed
« Reply #40 on: September 24, 2012, 02:46:04 AM »
I heard about this on the radio here is Australia. Apparently part of the reason mum is so mad is that she only lived a mile down the road. So an officer could have walked over to inform her. I'm guessing she is too upset to be thinking through the whole thought process of "oh they have to identify me and find out that I live just down the road before they come and tell me".
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AustenFan

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Re: RIP messages on FB before family informed
« Reply #41 on: September 24, 2012, 03:07:50 AM »
It isn't a massive period of time. 

This brings to mind the death of a dear friend.  He was killed in a motor vehicle accident on his way home from work.  Friend's wife was home, fixing dinner and had the news on.  She caught sight of her DH's very recognisable vehicle and saw a sheet covered gurney being loaded into an ambulance. 

She freaked out, gathered friends and waited.....for hours.

This was further complicated by the fact the he was active duty military, so the police turned it over to his command to contact her according to their protacol, which meant it had to be done in person, by members of a certain rank, etc.

Even though she already *knew*, the wait was horrible.

This happened to a family friend of ours, as well. The FIL was watching the morning news which went live to the scene of a fatal accident, where he recognized his newlywed DIL's car. He had to call his son at work and tell him.

I agree it's horrible, and my heart aches for the family who found out like that.

sparksals

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Re: RIP messages on FB before family informed
« Reply #42 on: September 24, 2012, 03:30:54 AM »


I could see the friend calling mutual friends for support.  I think the article also mentioned that the daughter had issues with drugs.  If one or two of her friends did as well their judgement might not be real fine tuned as far as what not to post on social media.

I think that it can be useful to use social media to express condolences and inform people.  A friend posted her mom's obit on fb.  I am not sure I would have heard her mom passed away, let alone made the visitation.  In my own family, we were thankful to be informed via fb.  A relative died across the country and was found when neighbors noticed his papers piling up.  The police didn't track us down - nobody was informed and his body just sat in county morgue.  A few friends managed to track down one of us via fb and basically had to send a message saying "If you are the relative of X I have  some news I am sorry to share...".  It was several days later and the authorities had made no attempt to track us down. No idea when or if they would have found us.

Sharnita - that is a horrible story! 

I asked my husband who is a former cop what the procedure is for this type of notification of next of kin.  He said the police usually do try to track down the NoK by asking neighbours, doing county record searches etc.  He also said that they may have done the record search and not found any links in the area.  If the police are from a large urban center, they may have stopped there b/c, unfortunately, those type of things fall to the bottom of the list below crimes.   

I'm so glad the friends tried to contact your family and that you eventually found out.   

CluelessBride

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Re: RIP messages on FB before family informed
« Reply #43 on: September 24, 2012, 03:46:35 AM »
I think the whole situation is horribly unfortunate and the friends clearly should have waited to post anything.  But while I understand why it might have taken several hours to notify next of kin, I'm confused as to why they answered the victim's phone but then refused to give any information.  To me that seems worse than giving bad news over the phone. 


Twik

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Re: RIP messages on FB before family informed
« Reply #44 on: September 24, 2012, 09:27:13 AM »
Three hours doesn't seem like that long (although it must seem that to grieving friends and relatives).
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