What does Ariana Grande’s Twitter Feed Teach us about Grief?
Any conversation about Ariana Grande should acknowledge that she demonstrates exceptional fortitude. She survived the tragic suicide bombing killing twenty-two of her concert goers in May, 2017 and she continues to perform. She is brave in the face of trauma and has faced extreme adversity in the past 18 months.
Grief is an intensely personal process. Some people find that posting feelings and photos and sharing grief on Facebook creates a sense of connection and helps them process the pain. Sometimes support springs from unexpected, virtual places. Others process grief much more privately and cannot imagine sharing grief through any social network.
Grieving the death of an ex is very different than grieving a painful breakup, but there are many parallels. Just as those outside of the relationship are not poised to dictate the pace and process of a breakup, the way a person grieves the death of an ex-lover depends on the grieving individual and what this loss and this past relationship means to them. As with a breakup, the bereaved is not just mourning the loss of the person, they are mourning how all of the memories and experiences associated with that person will now feel different and will hold a different place in one’s memories moving forward.
Social media platforms, especially those as open and accessible as Twitter, carry a high risk of volatile hostility and excessive judgment from others. The nature of Twitter emboldens bystanders to lash out. Given the hyper-volatility social media can generate, sometimes a digital detox is necessary. In the face of virtual hostility, the high road is always preferable. Wishing a critical tweeter a life without traumatic loss of this nature is a reflection of dignity and manners and pitches to the best in others. (Although the use of expletives in the later tweet is rarely if ever productive.)