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How to deal with someone’s social media accounts after a bereavement

It’s never easy sorting through a loved one’s effects after they’ve passed away. In this digital age, many people also have to decide what to do with someone’s social media accounts after a bereavement. 

Unless your loved one has left specific instructions about their accounts, you’ve got some decisions to make. 

At Viner and Sons, we’re here to help guide you through the process during this difficult time.

Use their accounts to help you grieve  

Before we discuss your options, we advise looking over your loved one’s social media activities as a way to help you grieve. A person’s social media accounts often contain their favourite pictures, cherished memories, and joyful musings. Take this moment to reflect on the person’s life and use their memories to help you through the grieving process. 

 Looking through social media posts like this not only helps you grieve, but it’s also the first step in the process – evaluating the importance of the social media accounts to the deceased person. This will help you decide whether you want to:

  •   Delete the accounts
  •   Memorialise the accounts
  •   Leave the accounts open

 Deleting the accounts

 It may seem like a big step to take, but many people choose to delete their loved one’s social media accounts for many different reasons. 

This means everything on the accounts will be removed permanently, although you can still save the things you want before deleting. Take your time and discuss this with friends and family before taking any action. 

If you’ve made the decision to delete the accounts, you’ll need to contact the social media sites to let them know the account holder has passed away. Don’t worry – it’s a common process that social media platforms are used to.

Memorialising the accounts

For some people, turning the accounts into memorial social media accounts is a heartfelt gesture that grants a place for people to help remember the deceased. It’s also a way to let the wider community know about the death.

 Memorialising a social media account removes many of the previous functions of the account but still allows friends, family, and well-wishers to view photos and posts.

 Unfortunately, not all social media allows memorialisation of accounts, but the main ones, like Facebook and Instagram, allow it.

Leaving the accounts open

 As you may currently be experiencing, there’s a lot to attend to when a loved one passes away, let alone dealing with the grieving. That’s why many people choose to leave the accounts of their loved ones open.

 This requires no action on your behalf. Some people choose to make it clear on the account in some way that the person has passed away, but for others, that may not be an option. Whatever you decide, should be right for the deceased loved ones. 

 If at any point you change your mind, you can still choose to delete or memorialise the account.

 We’re here for you

At Viner and Sons, helping people through bereavement is what we do. For bereavement support and bereavement advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us here


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