Just because you can do something doesn’t always mean you should.

Alternate Title: Why the Media is trash.

There was a saying that my late husband used to say- just because you can do something doesn’t always mean you should do it.

I tried explaining that to my daughter when she was two when she told me that she can eat play doh.  She didn’t agree with that statement.

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Over the course of the past couple of weeks, I have been noticed a disturbing trend on media.

I have noticed that certain media outlets (I am looking at you @newscentermaine and @WCVB ) have been publishing people’s recovery stories (which is great) but they are showing photos of the people intubated as the featured image.

Now, one of those stories was a grown man and I would assume that he gave consent to use his photo.  But…then I come back to…just because you can do something doesn’t always mean you should.

The second story featured a child, too young to consent.  I usually don’t judge other parents, but I side-eye that.  Just because you can do something doesn’t always mean you should.

My  late-husband was hooked up to a ventilator for 5 months.

That is not a writing mistake.

Not 5 days.  Not 5 weeks.

5 months.

So before anyone gets all Karen on me, accusing me of being a Karen, I am going to kindly point out that I am sure there is only a very small portion of the population that can fathom what it is like to have a loved one on a ventilator for 5 months.

If you have had a loved one on a ventilator for 5 months and you think I am whining, then feel free to call me out.

I have no pictures of Bryon in that situation.  He was a proud man and I know he would have never wanted a picture of himself in that situation, broadcasted on social media.

The only picture I took in the hospital room was this.  One of Bryon’s best friends and his girlfriend sent this for his room.

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I do wonder about people who do that with their loved ones.  What is the purpose of doing that?  The only thing I can come up with is for attention?  I hope I am wrong because that makes me sad.  Maybe education but you can educate without showing your loved one hooked up to a ventilator.  Maybe they just want to torture themselves in the years to come?  (Seriously, if you took a picture of a loved one hooked up to machines, I’d love to know why.  Because I don’t understand.)

I also didn’t take a picture Bryon like that because I was tormented enough with seeing him like that in real time.  The image will forever be etched in my memory.  So much so that when he was actively dying, I was scared that that was how I was going to remember him.

In the past four years, I have never once thought “I really wish I got a picture of him attached to the ventilator….”

What would I even do with a picture like that?  Put it in my blog for shock value and attention?

I will always feel that putting a picture of someone hooked up to a ventilator on a platform that everyone sees to be in poor taste.

Again…just because you can do something doesn’t always mean you should.

It is very insensitive to those who have had to witness a loved one in that situation.

I know that the media’s primary job is sensationlize anything that can to instill fear but to post pictures of people in their most vulnerable state for clicks on Facebook just shows a lack of decency.

I did take a moment to tweet both @newscentermaine and @WCVB letting them know it was in poor taste and insensitive to those who may have PTSD from seeing a loved one in that situation.

I got no response.  Not even a canned “Thanks for bringing it to our attention.”

Classy.

Public Service Anouncement: A widow’s rant

You have heard that someone has died.

It makes you sad.

You think about some fond memories with the deceased.

You may want to write about these lovely memories on Facebook and add a picture.

But for the love of all that is Holy, don’t post anything on social media until the next of kin has made the death public.

While the post may come with good intentions, it is actually one of the most disrespectful things you can do to a grieving person.

This is like births and engagements.  The ones who are the most affected get to share the news.

The next of kin, which is usually the spouse, parents, child or sibling of the deceased has a lot of do before the death is made public.  They have to notify all the other family members and close friends of the death.  And if someone posts about the death before it is made public, then those family members and close friends may hear about the death first on Facebook.

How would you feel if you found out about your aunts death on Facebook?

So please, please, please, save your social media condolences until after the next of kin has shared the news.

Your post will be appreciated.  I was worried that I was only going to remember Bryon as he was in the ICU.  Once I made his death public, Facebook was showered with memories and pictures of him.  After spending five months sitting beside him in the ICU, I was instantly reminded that he was a man who was full of life and I was relieved that that was how he was remembered.

Your post will be appreciated.

But please.

Wait until the death has been made public.