Yesterday, Christine Dao (a junior at Berkeley) died in a fatal car crash. As an act of mourning, her friends wrote her dozens of comments on her Facebook Profile and MySpace Profile. These Profiles serves both as a site of mourning and a site of memory, showing Christine’s life and the love of her friends.
Christine your vigil tonite was beautiful; it’s amazing to see how many lives you touched. I’m still reeling from it all…we miss you. — Scott
Hey Chrisitne…you alway had a energetic personality, always smiling…you were one of the few that were always there for me….im going to misss you sooo much!!! rest in peace.. — Jeff
Hey Beautiful!!! I can’t imagine what happened but only to know that no matter what you will never be forgotten. The memories we’ve shared would only be cherished and we will always miss you my kid…Rest In Peace…see you when I get there…. — Pao
There is no good way to mourn the loss of someone young, but what fascinates me about these messages on Christine’s Profiles is that they are all written to her but visible for everyone to see. A persistent, public signal of mourning. Her friends are speaking _to_ her, not about her.
Her actual Profile is unchanged even though it looks so alive. Her photos show her in action and her interests include statements like “love going to Cal Football games. laughing. finding cool people who i can laugh with. cracking jokes. getting jokes cracked on me. music-ing. rsf-ing (need a work out plan like Kanye West). taking long walks. my hoes. having FUN!”
What does it mean to write persistent comments for the dead? Is it a sign of respect, of public remembrance? I hope so. Rest in peace Christine.