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Brandi Boyd, former Love and Hip Hop Hollywood star, and good friend of Brandy and Ray J, recently announced that she and husband, producer Max Lux, had suffered a miscarriage. She shared that sad news in a video on her Instagram account, in tears in a hospital bed. She didn’t specify how far along she was, mainly because she said she’d hoped to keep her pregnancy before the loss private to avoid negativity. However, she knew that she was having a baby boy and had planned to name him Brandus:

Granted, many people may not handle the grief of losing a child in the same way as Boyd. We may not take our phones and record ourselves crying about our pain and what could have been. We may believe that the best way to handle things is to grieve privately, away from the gaze of our social media followers. That was the reason so many people outwardly criticized Boyd’s video online, half-expressing their condolences while, at the same time, shaking their heads at her for allegedly doing too much.

“Everything ain’t for social media,” said one commenter on the ShadeRoom’s IG. “You could have kept this moment private like you did the pregnancy.”

“I truly feel bad for her and her family. I also believe that more women should be open about miscarriage so others don’t feel alone but this.. this is definitely not the way,” said another. “This could be the way she’s coping but crying and recording yourself during what’s supposed to be a time of mourning just doesn’t seem genuine.”

“You literally had to click the (+) button. Turn the camera around press record click next, type a caption, then u even added a filter before u decided to post,” said another on Hollywood Unlocked’s page. “All for what??? This crying on video is pathetic!!! Idgaf what anybody says.”

Most comments, outside of the mostly positive found on her personal page, read like this. And while I get that everyone handles things differently, I found it almost laughable that so many, especially those who used social media to negatively talk about her behavior in the clip, thought they could speak on what is and what isn’t appropriate to share on social sites.

Everything you can think of is posted online nowadays. Babies straight out of the womb. Nudity and sex “tapes.”The bodies of loved ones in caskets at funerals. Injuries. Videos of people fighting. If all of that weren’t enough, even murders and suicides. Something that was once created to connect people has been used to share with people any and everything. So how is it taboo for a person, likely feeling alone in a moment of loss (and maybe physically alone in her hospital room), to share grief on social media? There are plenty of things everyone posts at this point, that someone could say is best kept offline (tired grievances with family members and friends included). Therefore, it seems a little hardhanded to tell someone that their pain is the only thing that isn’t for the ‘gram.

Sure, she could have waited until some time had passed. She could have waited until she’d come out of the hospital, dealt with the physical recovery of a miscarriage, and worked through maybe 30 out of 100 percent of the emotional trauma that comes with it, before getting online. She could have let all of that time and pain pass before putting together a tidy message with a picture of, say, the last successful sonogram for Mother’s Day or New Year’s Eve reflection. But the truth of the matter is, grief is often messy. It comes out in the most uncomfortable ways, and honestly, even more uncomfortable for the people not actually going through it. We can’t dictate how others deal.

We watch people sputter in tears on the train over whatever they’re in pain over, and we feel weird about it. We hear people talking out loud in public places about how their children have been taken away, homes burned down, or how they’d lost everything and try not to look. And yes, we also watch people on social media cry in cameras about loss, about hurt and about embarrassment. We want them to “tuck it in,” save it for when they get home or chalk it up to a mental breakdown of sorts. In Boyd’s case, we tell her that her open feelings are not appropriate, all while we ignore the reality that criticizing someone who may be going through a sorrowful time, and on the edge, helps nothing, and can also be described as inappropriate. And who is to say her tears didn’t connect with someone going through the same grief right now?

So while we may not deal with our issues like Boyd, in the future, it would be nice if people who want things handled differently, also go about responding to these things differently. It would go a long way for a truly hurt person, if those who didn’t agree with one’s methods of handling pain like this weren’t so quick to comment something mean, and didn’t question how “genuine” such displays are, but instead, prayed for healing, hoped for the best, or simply, kept scrolling.

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