I found out that my uncle has terminal cancer last night….on Facebook.

posted 3 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 3
4413 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Oh jeez, that’s awful. Sorry to hear about that. Do you think his wife just didn’t understand that facebook isn’t private?? Older people vs. technology: Old people 0, Technology 387493879134.

Post # 4
2851 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

So sorry to hear that.

It’s a lazy time we live in. I’ts easier for someone to post something, than to pick up the phone. Who want’s to deal with someone elses emotions if they can avoid it; it’s really very sad.

Post # 6
1988 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

@blushpinkbride:  Oh my goodness, that’s terrible! I’m so sorry about your uncle, such sad news. I’m sorry you had to find out in such a shocking way too. Maybe your aunt was so sad she wasn’t thinking clearly? 

I know how bad it feels to receive seriously bad news through facebook, a few years ago, I went to check out my good friend’s facebook page only to find a million R.I.P posts – he had died a few days earlier, only a day or two after having talked to me on the phone last. I completely lost it.  One of the worst moments of my life. 

Post # 7
1793 posts
Buzzing bee

@iarebridezilla:  You know, I am 53 and that is kind of offensive.  Because I am older I am technologically stupid?  I am not.  My 82 yo FIL can knock your socks off with his iPAD.

Maybe it isn’t a case of being old, or stupid, or lazy.  Maybe she was completely overcome at the thought of losing her spouse and posted a comment in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Have any of you been in those shoes?  OP, I am sorry you found out that way, I truly am, but I think the poor woman deserves a bit of a pass here.  I have lost parents and a brother to cancer, and another brother to a massive heart attack.  If I found out on facebook I would be pissed, but I would hope I could keep it together enough to consider the place she is in that she did this.

Post # 9
567 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Grief makes different people act differently. My dad died suddenly of a heart attack at 56 a couple of years ago. I don’t know what my mom would have posted if she had FB at the time. I remember giving a lot of random people apologetic looks when she would burst out at awkward and inappropriate times with the most personal and morbid details of his death, etc. But that was just her way. I had my own meltdowns. I am sorry you got such bad news on FB. I know it sucks. I found out my grandma was dying on FB, so I know. But again, different people respond differently to grief. Try to forgive your aunt for her insensitive delivery. I am sure she is overwhelmed. Or quite frankly, maybe she thought someone else had already contacted you.

Post # 10
681 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@blushpinkbride:  I am so sorry to hear this, and my thoughts are with you and your family.  News about terminal cancer is so hard to deal with.

Your post is earily familiar… when my uncle was diagnoed with terminal cancer, he and my aunt were “making the rounds” telling everyone in person.  My 14 year old cousin posted it on Facebook, and that’s how my brother found out.  He tried to call me to tell me not to check Facebook until I got home that night (which of course, just made me check Facebook).  All told, I think 7 of my extended family members found out on FB.  It broke my aunt and uncles hearts, because they were trying so hard to tell everyone in person.

Some people need to realize Facebook isn’t meant for grave situations.

Best of luck to you and your family; the next little while is really going to suck.

Post # 11
3349 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Yeah, people use FB for this kind of thing, and it is so inappropriate.


Post # 12
7025 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@blushpinkbride:  There’s no right or wrong way to grieve. Given the state she (the wife) was in, I’m not going to criticise. Perhaps she thought FB was less painful than a dozen phone calls. It is also possible that closer relatives than you were told personally.

I’ve seen worse: a guy’s death in a car accident was announced by friends very soon after on facebook (one of the survivors of the crash phoned a mutual friend, who put it on facebook). It is entirely possible his family didn’t know at the time. At least in your case, the person closest put it on facebook, not some random.

Anyway, ((hugs)) to you and your family.

Post # 13
6525 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

@blushpinkbride:  im so sorry to hear that!!!! 

And i agree. Things like that should not be posted via Facebook!

Post # 14
1793 posts
Buzzing bee

@blushpinkbride:  I am very sorry about your loss.  I lost my parents as a child as well as the guardians who raised me and became my “parents”, as well as 2 of my 3 siblings.  I am also very familiar with deep loss and I still believe this woman should be cut some slack for her circumstance and not be held to internet strangers standards.

Like I said, would I be pissed if I found out my brother was terminally ill on Facebook?  Would I hopefully cut that person some slack for just finding out they were losing their life partner and made a poor choice in the moment?  I sincerely hope so.

Post # 15
1589 posts
Bumble bee

No, email isn’t facebook.  But last fall I had a health scare and doctors were telling me that  while we wouldn’t know until pathology came back, and there was a small chance it was benign,I should assume I probably had advanced cancer until proven otherwise.

I didn’t have the emotional energy to have that conversation with anyone – let alone several people.  So, I sent a mass email BCC to those who would care.  The first sentence was something like, “I’ve had some upsetting news and am very emotionally tender right now so I’m sure you can understand that I just cannot talk at this time.”   

There are several reasons why she may have shared in this fashion, not all of them ageist, or ignorant, or even uncaring about others. 

Post # 16
1029 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2015

@blushpinkbride:  Sorry to hear that about your uncle! I’m hoping that she just didn’t understand the intricacies of facebook. Not kidding,  once my mom wrote something of a personal nature on one of my sister’s wall, but she really thought it was inbox.

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