For those not on Facebook, the online community has embraced a couple of day-specific rituals. One is “Hump Day” on Wednesdays (admit it – you’re thinking about that commercial with the camel in the office, aren’t you?). Fridays, of course are “TGIF”. One that is relatively new is reserved for Thursdays.
#ThrowbackThursday is devoted to recalling the past. On that day, you will likely see people posting photos of themselves and people they know. Sometimes they post pictures of themselves as children. Sometimes they post old family photos. But what I’ve noticed is that most of their pictures are of friends.
Sometimes it’s a photo of just one person, a friend from their childhood, their neighborhood or school. Sometimes it’s a photo of themselves with a group of friends. And very often, the friend in the photo is dead.
This is the photo I posted on the Thursday before World AIDS Day. It was taken in September, 1990, at a black-tie fundraiser that my assistant, Steve Showalter and I worked on for months. Our reward, at the point in the evening when that picture was taken, was to have one dance together. He was a hard-working, sweet guy, who later died of AIDS.
Sometimes people will post a photo of a group of friends – from work or school, on vacation or at a rock concert – and mention who in the group is still alive. Others will weigh in with remembrances of those who have died.
“If you still remember them, they’re not really dead,” Doctor Who once said. That’s where the internet – sites like Facebook and Pinterest – give us the ability to remember our friends, and share them with others.
So, if you’re on Facebook tomorrow, join in the #ThrowbackThursday remembrances. Post a picture of a friend, with a story of why they were so important in your life.
“Gone, but not forgotten.” That’s the beauty of the internet.