Tributes kept trickling onto Max's wall as the weeks passed. Some were touching, some were tacky, and some just seemed at a loss for words, no matter how long they must have sat and tried to compose their thoughts. Friends shared memories they had or wished they could have made. People posted about doing something that reminded them of Max, or shared content they thought he would have liked. One oblivious guy sent him a message urging him to feel better that came far too late -- because we all have that kind of friend. Chad.
"Thanks for inviting me to your party. I love your fancy beer fridge!"
After all this time of not even thinking of the man as a real human being, I was suddenly getting reminders of his humanity, and the loss of it, every day. The posts have stopped for now, but I'm sure there will be more. On anniversaries of a marriage that was far too short, on holidays that should have been enjoyed together, on moments when Max just randomly crosses someone's mind the way a good friend can. Just little moments to remind me of Max and death, nestled in-between blurry pictures and invitations to play terrible games that far too often involve growing corn.
If you haven't witnessed this yet, you will. It's estimated that Facebook will have more dead users than living ones as early as 2060. Facebook has legacy options that allow you to turn your page into a virtual memorial operated by a friend, or you can simply have your account deleted and condemned to the watery e-depths. But, for now, they're not widely used or even well-known, because your grandparents can barely figure out how to share vacation photos and no young person wants to start planning for a demise that's hopefully decades away. So, most profiles will be in limbo like Max's, dormant but occasionally home to tributes and reminders of birthdays that should have been celebrated.
Olena Savytska/iStock/Getty Images
I've exhausted this topic's extremely limited comedic potential, so please enjoy
this picture of a dog who doesn't know how its tongue works.
The last words in Max's last post were "The ICU is scary. :(" I look at it now, and all I can think is that an emoticon has never been so inadequate and yet so devastating. I don't really know what sort of legacy Max left behind in real life, but it's nice to know there's a tiny corner of the Internet that will always serve as a memorial to his life, art, and love. Thanks for liking all my silly jokes, Max.
You can read more from Mark at his website.
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