Why I still read my partner's tweets two years after his death

Adam Packer, right, with his late partner Dean

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Adam Packer explains why he still checks his late partner's Twitter account two years after his death from cancer at the age of 21.

My partner Dean Eastmond used his Twitter account in a personal capacity, but it also helped him kickstart his journalism career.

For me, his Twitter account has been important to look back on to remember moments and memories in our relationship, but also to celebrate his achievements during his life.

It is not just a case of screenshotting tweets for me. I could easily go through and pick the ones I want to look at.

Dean's best friends - who are my best friends too - we would share his tweets with each other. Send each other direct messages of a particular memory. I might quote retweet a tweet of Dean's adding something that has cropped up since.

There are a lot of different ways that I would still want to interact with Dean's Twitter, and if his account were removed it would be quite upsetting for me.

In the same way that Dean's Twitter account can bring me comfort, it can also upset me.

If I didn't have access to his Twitter, there are still important things I hold dear. I have a cuddly toy from Dean for example that's really precious to me.

Social media is just another layer for me to go through these feelings of grief and understand how I feel about particular aspects of losing him.

Everybody experiences grief and bereavement differently. 

There are particular things that Dean logged about his cancer journey that I think can still help people.

If I did have access to Dean's password and log in details I could have archived his tweets, but in between Dean finding out his cancer treatment was stopping and him passing away, there was not time to have those kinds of conversations.

Exchanging Twitter log ins isn't the first thing you think about when someone is dying.

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