Since the rise of social media, grieving online has become more acceptable, but not everyone is comfortable with the practice.
UK television presenter Simon Thomas has hit back at critics after he was slammed online for publicly mourning his wife’s death on social media. The 45-year-old lost his wife Gemma to leukaemia three days after she was diagnosed in November last year.
Since her death, the Sky News presenter has been documenting his life online, including posting heartwarming notes of encouragement for his eight-year-old son Ethan.
But on Thursday, a Twitter user criticised Thomas for mourning his wife so publicly. A post from the account Normal for Norfolk, which has since been deleted, read: “Count your blessings – children in war torn countries (Syria) lose both parents, their home and have no support. It’s a fact of life,” Yahoo7 reported.
The TV presenter shot back with the reply: “Apparently I need to be thankful for small mercies. What this chap doesn’t know is that Gemma was leading a refugee project at our church to rehouse a Syrian family here in Reading.”
Apparently I need to be thankful for small mercies. What this chap doesn’t know is that Gemma was leading a refugee project at our church to rehouse a Syrian family here in Reading. Watching her tears for what was happening in that country means I am thankful. https://t.co/CjzahULWve
— Simon Thomas (@SimonThomasSky) February 28, 2018
Users have since jumped onto Twitter to show their support for Thomas.
One user wrote: “You don’t have to justify anything to anyone mate! Just ignore small minded people! Wish you and your family all best Simon!” Another added: “No one should ever tell anyone how to grieve, it’s a personal (and terrible) journey.”
The TV presenter isn’t the only personality who feels comfortable mourning publicly.
Kim Cattrall, who played beloved fictional character Samantha Jones on the hit TV series Sex in the City, posted to social media, following her brothers death in February.
The actress wrote, “It is with great sadness that myself and my family announce the unexpected passing of our son and brother, Chris Cattrall. At this time we ask for privacy. We want to thank you all on social media for your outpouring of love and support in this trying time”
It is with great sadness that myself and my family announce the unexpected passing of our son and brother, Chris Cattrall. At this time we ask for privacy. We want to thank you all on social media for your outpouring of love and support in this trying time. pic.twitter.com/n4dQAMrTvS
— Kim Cattrall (@KimCattrall) February 4, 2018
Television favourite Magda Szubanski, said goodbye to her beloved mum by posting a touching photograph of the pair clasping hands on social media.
And songstress Celine Dion recently opened up on her wish for her husband René Angélil’s “agony” to end following his long cancer battle, and says she feels him with her all the time, two years after his death.
“He’s not physically with us, but I live with him. I see him everyday through the eyes of my children,” she said on national TV.
While there’s no wrong or right way to mourn the loss of a loved one, social media has given rise to a whole new way of dealing with death. It’s not uncommon now to see people sharing photos of family members on their death bed, with pictures from funerals and memorials often plastered online for the world to see.
Lengthly status updates telling the world about the pain of loss are also common with thousands of people using social media as a way to express their grief and gain support from friends far and wide.
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