Pamela Bryce-Elarabi Facebook suicide death: How a depressed mother of two’s attempt to connect led to social media fall-out and tragedy.
The family of a New Jersey woman who took her own life and posted a ‘disturbing’ image on social media moments prior has expressed outrage following Facebook failing to take down said image, days later.
It all happened June 23 when mother of two, Pamela Bryce-Elarabi, posted a graphic image of herself to Facebook showing herself preparing to commit suicide.
Notice of the image led to concerned family and friends scurrying to get to the woman’s Hillsborough home. Despite being raced to hospital with perilous self inflicted injuries, Bryce-Elarabi died hours later after after the woman’s family made the difficult decision to remove her from life support.
Comments on the 49 year old yoga instructor’s Facebook page revealed the mother having hung herself.
Speaking to Market Watch, Bryce-Elarabi sister, Gillian Luchejko told the media outlet of being bombarded by concerned friends who sought information on her sister’s condition following the image remaining on social media pages.
Told the sister as she recalled sitting over her sister’s hospital bedside, ‘People kept texting us, asking what was going on, and what the Facebook post was about, and I was thinking, “I can’t answer you right now because she is dying,’” Luchejko said. ‘Everyone felt helpless’.
Family members told of contacting Facebook about the image along with 200 of Elarabi’s friends requesting the disquieting image be removed- but to no avail.
The image remained at the top of Elarabi’s page for three days after her death until her 26-year-old daughter hacked into her mother’s account and deleted the post herself.
‘It was very traumatic for her. Her children are now traumatized because this is the last image they saw of their mom – they can’t remember her the way she was,’ she told the outlet.
Pamela Bryce-Elarabi Facebook friends: ‘What’s going on? Are you OK?’
Luchejko said prior to the post being removed, commentators had posted their support for the family while others criticized them for not doing more to help Elarabi, who Luchejko said was going through a divorce and had suffered from depression her entire life.
According to Luchejko, one message read: ‘Why wasn’t anyone there for you?’ Another person posted ‘we all let you down’. Luchejko said someone else wrote that suicide is a selfish choice.
She said the comments were especially hard for Elarabi’s children to see.
‘You don’t know what is happening off of Facebook,’ Luchejko said. ‘Facebook is not reality. Sometimes people don’t understand that. Obviously if someone is suicidal, they have gotten to a point of no return, and it’s really hard to get them back.’
Luchejko said Facebook needs to have a better way for people to report dire posts and images.
‘They are looking at whether we get fake news or spam, not inappropriate posts or what to do in a situation that is dire. Why isn’t there anyone to contact directly? Why isn’t there a customer service phone number to say this is an emergency? It just shows Facebook does not care about their customers.’
A spokeswoman for Facebook told the dailymail that she could not comment specifically on Elarabi’s case because the photo was no longer on her Facebook page.
Attempts to speak to a live person results in zero success with the social media giant routing users to its Help Center, which lists steps users are to take if they or someone they know are experiencing suicidal thoughts. According to Facebook’s guidelines, users should immediately contact local law enforcement and then reach out to the person they are concerned about. Easier said than done…
Facebook also asks that users report the content so they can reach out to the person and provide them with helpful information. At each step the social media platform effectively disengages itself from users and personal calamities which might be playing out on their very platform.
Pamela Bryce-Elarabi: In desperate need of love & comfort….
Luchejko said other despairing posts Elarabi shared that day remain on her page. One post she wrote at 8.25pm, about a half hour before she committed suicide, said: ‘F*** this’.
Posted Elarabi, a day before her suicide, ‘I am trying to keep cool… I have never been this upset in my life… I’m at a complete loss.’
She had also shared pictures of her trying different yoga poses and at the Solstice Yoga Fest in New York City. Some friends had commented on the image telling Elarabi how happy she looked.
Wrote the mom of two, ‘First Kate Spade…then Anthony Bourdain?!?! Take it from someone who suffers from Major Depressive Disorder and Anxiety…there IS help for those days when you just can’t take it anymore. Those who know me well, know that I’ve been that route and am currently suffering through a very bad part if my life, however, I refuse to be a statistic. Reach out for help…there are facilities everywhere! Contact me!!! Anything but the “easy” way out…please!!! That’s never easy for anyone
The family said they won’t have a funeral for Elarabi. They will instead honor the yoga enthusiast with a private memorial on September 3, on what would have been her 50th birthday.
‘She never believed that she was loved, which I think was part of the problem. Now, there are a lot of people reaching out. It’s nice to know about all the people that loved her, the outpouring is just wonderful’, Luchejko said.
Loved and unloved on a social media platform which so often plays the role of a wide reaching surrogate support mechanism capable only so far to embrace the pain and suffering that is so often the human condition….