It has been awhile since I wrote my last post. Last month, one of my closest friends died suddenly. Ernie Ferraro was 43 years old, a loving husband, married to fellow Yahoo! Sharon Ferraro and father to three beautiful young children. He, along with the rest of our motley crew of friends shared many, many good time together. He will be missed.
I wanted to take a moment and share the role that Social Media played in his life, and in his death.
Ernie had many friends, from all stages of his life. The cohesive central point for Ernie in his disparate circles of friends and family was Facebook. He was often posting questions, providing advice, and in general having fun with his socially networked circle of friends.
But what happened in Ernie’s passing was a remarkable testament to Social Media. Ernie had a digital eulogy that was beyond anything that I have ever thought possible before. The outpouring of condolences, funny “Ernie” stories, and thoughtful wishes of prayer (while Ernie battled with his illness) was overwhelming. I still look at Ernie’s Facebook wall and get choked up. There were literally 100s of these comments, pictures, and videos left behind on Ernie’s wall.
My family was not able to make the funeral. It was pure anguish to not be there. Sally and I found comfort in the words, pictures, and videos that were posted on Ernie’s wall, adding our own memories when we were able.
Ernie, you will be missed but not forgotten. Your soul will live on your friends, family, and children. Here is a fantastic photo that I have of Ernie’s oldest boy Nick and my boy Jake hamming it up for the camera up in Stratton, VT.