I'm no longer a frequent Facebook user so sometimes I learn there's been a death belatedly. I am always on the fence on how to respond to these announcements. If I write on a friend's Facebook wall, will my message sound trivial? If I don't write on a friend's wall, will they think I do not care? The biggest dilemma we each face: Do you post a condolence message on Facebook or do you write a traditional condolence note?
I always write a note of sympathy so the decision is not too hard for me. Having been bereaved myself, I know the healing power of written condolences and I like to think sympathy notes will be re-read and cherished during the period of mourning.
And yet Facebook communication is so tempting because it is immediate. If you write on a friend's wall, they will instantly know that you care. Instead, if you write a sympathy note, they will have to wait a few days until the note arrives.
Is it worth the wait? For me personally, I believe it is. But we are each unique and you will need to decide yourself how you want to console your bereaved friends and loved ones. While Facebook is immediate, the posts are often short and quickly written. Notes with personal messages of condolence take time and are usually well thought out. I believe they are meaningful and well worth the time and effort it takes to write and deliver.