When You Live Online, Will Anyone Know When You Die?

Public Grieving on Social Media Hides a Darker Private Reality

I suspected that something was wrong on the Sunday morning when I saw the beginning of a Facebook post in my newsfeed sidebar that said, in French, “Our dear AJ has given up …” I was unable to read the rest because it was removed as I looked at it, but I was concerned that it might actually mean that AJ was hurt or in trouble.

It could have said something like, “AJ has given up his studies,” because the French wording is similar for all scenarios. That particular formulation is …

More In: grief

Brooding Grief

A yellow leaf from the darkness
Hops like a frog before me.
Why should I start and stand still?

I was watching the woman that bore me
Stretched in the brindled …

Two Suicides in 12 Hours

Both My Cousin and Robin Williams Were Jovial, Life-of-the-Party Types. One Death Helped Me Absorb the Shock of the Other.

My cousin Armando drilled four holes on the top of his garage in Oakland, California one day and installed a mini-basketball hoop. It was the early ’80s, and the Los …

On Being Jewish, Perhaps

The staircase is L-shaped
with a huge cactus in the corner.
Be careful with that,
my mother says every time
we go to visit my aunt Pepa.
Today we are …