In the world of social media, it can feel bizarre that potent evidence of grieving from one friend is followed so quickly by pictures of oven-fresh cookies from another.

– Paul Ford, Facebook and the Epiphanator

My father died almost twenty years ago, after an illness spanning decades. My parents had enjoyed a very affectionate, happy marriage; prepared though we had been for long years before the end came, my mom was utterly shocked and devastated when he died. A protracted gloom overwhelmed her naturally sunny demeanor. But one day, maybe a year or so after my father's death, I had a phone call from her, and she was laughing. Laughing quite hard, really.