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Friday, January 3, 2014

Dying with a Time Stamp: a story in status lines


My dear friend Ted Eytan once asked me,  “When are you going to name names? When are you going to tell people the names of the hospitals?”  I responded that I already did that as it was happening.  Everything was posted in real time with a timestamp. 

I was very thankful when Facebook came out with its timeline; now you could see everything that happened without endlessly scrolling through page after page.  Today I compiled the most pertinent status lines of the last year of Frederick Holliday’s life. 

You can see interesting patterns when you scroll the days of a life.

The first person Fred ever spoke to on Facebook was Christofer.
The last person Fred ever spoke to on Facebook was Christofer.
They were the best of friends, but so were the many other friends that graced Fred’s comment field.  

You can see Fred and I loved our boys; you can see we loved each other.   You can see what death looks like in the world of social media. 

































































 









15 comments:

  1. Wow! I just have no words! So quickly things changed, so difficult for your entire family.
    It's a time stamp everyone should read! Today you are well, tomorrow life changes and before you know it - and without enough information - your family is changed forever.

    My heart is sad to read this, but everyone needs to - to learn to ask more, demand more, be given more (support, Data, kindness, Communication.). It's right in this blog.
    In the blink of an eye your life changed forever, and Fred deserved much better.

    What a beautiful family you were and are.

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    1. Thank you for reading this. I hope it helps people embrace there loved ones in the moment because you never know when that moment will be over. I hope it helps people advocate strongly for their loved ones when they find themselves on the roller coaster of medical care.

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  2. Thank you. No other words really express what i feel and the depth of your important message to each and every one of us
    dot klein Sudbury ontario

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing in our story.

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  3. Regina, it is incredible that you have this record of Fred's last year. I'm sure it was painful in many ways to travel this time again, but thanks for sharing it with us.

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  4. It is a sweet sorrow, and if I did not have this I would have so little of his words. Fred wrote few letters to me, so I rejoice in status lines.

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  5. Awesome thought provoking brilliant post that must have taken forever to put together - but so worthwhile...thank you for sharing such a deep, personal and difficult story

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    1. Thanks Nick. You are right. It did take a very long time to it all together. (you can see how Facebook post style changed within the years between grabs) I am so glad I could share it with you.

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  6. Regina, Thanks for sharing this family story with us all. You took us through Fred's illness through his pain, your caring and the kid's eyes. My heart is with you, as always.
    Maureen Bisognano

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    1. Dear Maureen,

      Thank you. You are doing so much to help others avoid the sad path that our family was forced to walk.

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  7. Brought a tear to my eye. So wonderful how such a small number of words, some photos, and a beautiful painting can touch our hearts when it's a chronological tale. Thank you Regina for sharing this moving masterpiece with the world here. XOXO

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    1. Thank you Carolyn for seeing the poetry in status lines.

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  8. What a beautiful tribute, Reggie. I remember many of these posts all too well.

    It was and remains a privilege to have been Fred's student in AY 2008-2009.

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  9. I am so glad you are still with us on this journey. You are an amazing advocate.

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  10. The Walking Gallery is a very interesting and unique concept. It is a great way to raise awareness through the arts and share individual's valuable stories. It is nice to see how widespread the impact of the program has been on social media. It is clear that The Walking Gallery is about people being able to express themselves, as well as their opinions and personal stories. This is inspiring because it provides a way to bring life to our stories and share them with people we might not otherwise have the opportunity to.

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