Melanie is back in the driving seat for Truthful Tuesday. You can join in here
Question: Is it ever even vaguely acceptable to share really bad news (not mine for a change, but someone I know well) via group text? No name attached to the text of course, and one is left wondering who the hell is texting.
Ought there be some etiquette around group texts? Like leave a vague clue as to who is sending the darn thing. I’m as likely as not to block the number if I don’t recognize it. And I’m burned that someone would even consider sharing such potentially earth shattering news via such an impersonal venue. Maybe I’m just a tech-no-phobe in the making.
This is so close to home for me.
My sister notified me my mother had died by text. To put things into perspective, I’d had a previous text to say that if I wanted to say my final goodbyes, now was the time. I immediately rang the hospital and was told Mum was sleeping, but if I wanted to visit, I could any time. We packed a bag, loaded up the car and the dog and were about to leave for the 300 mile journey when I received the text that said ‘Mum has just passed away.’
I rang Sis straight away to be told ‘I’m in a bad place,’ and she hung up.
Trying to lighten the load of such sad news for her, I rang Bro in NZ as I’d promised plus Mum’s surviving brother and my Dad’s surviving sister. I tried Dad’s brother too but the number was unavailable.
Details of the funeral were a long time coming, despite my asking several times, even contacting the funeral home who said a date was being arranged to suit the family.
I had sent a text this particular day and the reply was that nothing had been arranged yet. An hour or so later I received a ’round robin’ text message to say that children would be allowed at the wake until 7pm.
I rang Sis to ask what was going on and she said all the details were on FaceBook. I told her I was not on FB, as she already knew and she told me the message would have gone into my spam folder. I told her I didn’t have a spam folder as my phone was simply PAYG, and why had she not told me when I’d asked earlier. She eventually told me the date and time.
I contacted the funeral home and asked if I would be able to pay my last respects on the morning of the funeral as we had some considerable distance to travel and that we were coming down the night before to stay with a friend. Nothing was too much trouble for them to accommodate me, and I was able to kiss my Mum goodbye, lay four red roses alongside her for myself, Hubby, Bro and SIL, some dog biscuits from Maggie for when Mum crossed Rainbow Bridge, and tucked a note under the cover to tell her I loved her and that she was now with Dad.
So in answer to Melanie’s question, No it is NOT acceptable to share bad news by something as impersonal as a text, especially when it’s family.
Mum died in January 2018 and my sister has never offered me one word, by text or otherwise, of comfort, not even at the funeral.