My grandfather passed away in January of 2013. For a man in his late seventies — a man who I can confidently say was under the impression “LOL” stood for “lots of love” until the day he died — he was quite active on social media, namely Facebook.
He connected with several of my friends through Facebook, which meant they were just as susceptible as I was to his untimely and inappropriate grandparent comments. My friends all found it funny, so this never seemed to be an issue. He even became friends with my then-girlfriend, which left her vulnerable to his unpredictable social media behavior and complete lack of regard for Facebook etiquette. To this day, I still wonder if he genuinely didn’t understand the unwritten Social Media Commandments or if he simply didn’t care he was breaking them.
For me, this situation only became worrisome when my relationship ended with said girl, and she and my grandfather remained Facebook friends. I’d log in and immediately see that he commented on her status or a new photo she was tagged in. I made it a point to apologize for the awkwardness the first few times, but she assured me it was no big deal. “He’s sweet,” she’d insist. She was either a really good person or a really good liar.
Her apparent patience (and my grandfather’s indiscretion) aside, my ex-girlfriend was right about one thing: Grandpa was sweet. He was friendly, he was kind. He was always giving, whether it was money he didn’t have or time he didn’t need. He always gave people a reason to smile or laugh.
It wasn’t until a few days ago that I realized Grandpa still is sweet. He is still friendly, kind. He’s still giving us a reason to smile.
How, you ask? Well, through memories…
I hadn’t looked at Grandpa’s Facebook page since he died, but I found myself on it the other day. While I expected there to be a few posts from friends of his who couldn’t attend his wake or funeral, I noticed tons of recent updates. They are all from an app called Give Hearts, and the posts seem to have started in June 2014. Though the app posts infrequently and at random, there are more than a dozen updates on my grandfather’s Facebook timeline.
As if our stories and memories weren’t already enough to immortalize him, Grandpa gives and lives on through Facebook (of all places).