Dying On Facebook

Dying on Facebook

I wasn’t expecting the announcement from your Mum on Facebook. She didn’t beat around the bush.

This is Jo’s mum. Jo killed herself last night.

The night before last you had peppered your wall with baby goats. Baby goats running. Baby goats jumping. Baby goats making baby goat noises. I figured you were doing okay. The last thing I noticed that you wrote on your wall was an observation that paper is more fragile when it’s hot. I guessed that you’d started writing again. I hoped you’d started writing again. You always seemed to be more at ease with yourself, with life, when you giving your thoughts shape and editing them.

I should have sent a message your way. The thought to do so had lasted for a few seconds, until I saw an update from Buzz Feed about some kid having 200 teeth removed or something, and I forgot all about spending a few minutes thrashing out some words and a couple of bracket and dot smilies. I didn’t think real death existed on Facebook. I didn’t think I’d be reading about the death of a friend when I’d normally be clicking on You Tube videos of hungry kittens.

I’ve been sat curled over my laptop for, well, fuck knows how long now. I’ve been reading backwards, starting with your timeline, then scrolling through our messages. We fought a lot. We made up a lot too. Your photos are all still there. You’re still there in the profile photo and the cover image. I don’t know what I expect your Mum to do. I don’t know what I expect her to change it to. Blank spaces perhaps? I don’t know.

I appreciate how alive I am for the first time in ever. I open my window. It doesn’t make a difference. There’s no breeze. It’s like the weather has Facebook and it found out about your death. It’s like it’s holding a silent vigil.

You were so fucking cool it hurt. You made a bikini from old cat t-shirts and always transported the aroma of hot cinnamon. You had done since school. You could bulldoze a room of men by wearing sweats, an orange scrunchie and an old Nirvana top on back to front. You were a fragile daredevil, always jumping first. I don’t want to wonder but I do wonder how you did it. How you killed yourself.

I guess you would have guessed that you’d died again on Facebook. If we’d been a few years into the future. I probably would have learnt this information by taking a pill, which could then control my emotional reaction. Right now I’m just a fucking mess. I’ve added something to the fortress that is your Facebook wall. So many people miss your heart and awesomely bizarre status updates already.

I cradle a belly ache and circle my room before dropping back heavily on my bed and the sheets, freckled with sweat, tears and snot. I decide to attack sleep with some allergy tablets. I check your page before I pop the pills, and plan to check again first thing in the morning, just in case your current status has changed and you’re doing something like eating the greatest cheese melt while flicking nebula dust off your shoulders.