Turning to social media for support at the end of life

Categories: In The Media.

Often, writing about your story, whatever it is, and whether or not anyone else read it, is cathartic in itself.

But with social media it is much easier to reach out to others. Talking to other people who are in a similar situation helps us better understand our own journey.

But there are other ways social media is helping support people at the end of life.

As highlighted by a recent blog on The Huffington Post website, it is not always the terminally ill who ask directly for support.

In the article Lauren Messervey tells the story of Justin, who reached out over the internet to invite breast cancer survivors, families, friends, and anyone who wanted to make a difference to send a postcard to his mother Jocelyn, who had been diagnosed with stage four breast cancer and bone metastases.

Justin specified that the postcard message could be any length, but its goal was to inspire his mother to find joy where there was none, and hope where it was lost. Messervey writes that, thanks to the postcards she received, Jocelyn has lived much longer than expected, seeing family birthdays and weddings.

As well as emotional support, social media has also been used for financial support. There have been a number of stories of individuals raising money for their own care, but the campaigns that have made the biggest impression are those inspired and organised by those nearing the end of life to raise money for charity.

As an article on the BBC website this week highlights, the combination of personal narrative and social media campaigning (such as with Stephen’s Story) is a powerful one.

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