3 Reasons Why Posting "Sad" Things to Social Media Doesn't Mean I'm Stuck in My Grief
Author: Kelly Griffith
“He would want you to go on with your life.”
The words knocked the wind out of me as if I was once again standing at the front door, staring blankly at three Marines. How could anyone think that posting a photo of my brother’s headstone on social media is not OK? That I’m somehow stuck in my grief because I choose to spend my Sunday afternoons telling Sam how I’m living my life?
That’s when I realized that it wasn’t me who got it wrong. Here are three reasons why you don’t need to think I’m stuck in my grief if I’m sharing photos or content you think of as “sad.”
1. I’m honoring.
Posting a photo of another fallen hero shows that we get it. When others share birthday and angelversary posts of their loved ones, I understand that they don’t necessarily want a million sad faced reactions. I think they want hearts. At least, that’s what I want when I post Sam’s photo or the photo of another fallen service member. It’s an opportunity to honor that person. It’s a reminder that he or she existed and had a major impact in our lives. It’s acknowledgment that they still have a big place in our hearts.
2. I’m growing.
In the same way that your engagements, weddings, puppies and babies are life changing, my life has forever been altered. And not all of my life has been impacted negatively. I’ve found strength. I’ve found resilience. And I’ve found myself. Last year, I ran the Baltimore Marathon in honor of Sam. After finishing more than 300 miles of training runs, attempting to change my whole diet, losing more than 10 pounds and truly seeing what my body is capable of, it was one of my proudest moments to post a photo of Sam’s headstone with my Baltimore Marathon medal.
3. I’m living.
My other proudest moment came when I shared a photo of Sam’s headstone and shared our conversation. After sitting with Sammy for a few minutes in the quiet peace of Arlington National Cemetery, I kissed his headstone three times just like always. And then I said the words I never thought I would say after he died. “I love you, Sam. I have to go. I’m busy living.”
Thankfully, I chose not to respond to that message. There really were no words anyway. Instead, I stayed true to myself and kept posting the things most helpful and healing to me while offering hope to others. Months later, I was truly humbled by the words that came across my computer screen from that same person. “I take it back. I am very proud of you. Thank you.”
From the pen of…
Kelly Griffith is the TAPS Magazine Editor and Manager of Internal Communications and the surviving sister of Marine Corps Maj. Samuel Griffith. Kelly’s background in journalism and the profound impact of Sam’s life and service enable her to share the compassion and care of TAPS through writing.