By Attorney David Engler
There have been powerful world convulsing events over the last year where the heroes used Twitter, Facebook and the power of a digital image.
The Arab Spring began when Buoazizi set himself and fruit cart afire in protest over Tunisian dictatorship. In Egypt the end came when Asmaa Fahouf posted her video on YouTube calling for protesters against Mubarak to meet in Cairo’s Liberation Square. In my case against a Children Service Board it was the triumph of a wounded grandmother coming forth with video atrocities of her grandchildren that began with what will one day be how this dysfunctional agency is undone and replaced with something more accountable and caring.
The public becomes personal and the personal becomes public when pictures, moving or still, text and audio become digitized and loose on the Internet.
And so it was with my own grief over losing my Mom at the end of her fight with Parkinson’s disease. She was with my sister Amy, a hero, in Maine. She cared for her and eventually spent a part of each day at the Maine’s Veteran’s Home. With the lost came the relief that prayers were answered for God to take her from her body that had long ago grown tired. But she was stubborn and her will to live never did quite give out. In your grief you question whether you could have been a better son or daughter and reflect upon the relationship to your parent and all the complexities that absolutely existed. So the obituary is posted on Facebook and hundreds of friends and family reach out in small meaningful ways. Each call or text from my friends brought me solace. I am not sure I ever knew what that word meant before, but now I know what it feels like. And for every acknowledgement on Facebook….I thank you. It means more than you could imagine or maybe not since we almost have all felt lost before. So again I thank you and I also thank Facebook and Twitter and WordPress for showing me in a very personal way how the loss of your parent can be eased with the power of social media. I can see how it worked when it was something so dear to me and I suppose that was a very small fraction of the collective power used by revolutionaries and heroes I mentioned above when their personal pain became public and collective.