More than two years after romance writer Susan Meachen's death was announced on her Facebook page, she seemingly returned to the platform to reveal she is alive.
Social media followers of Meachen believed the author was dead since late 2020, after someone claiming to be her daughter posted the news via her Facebook account, The post has since been deleted but there are screenshots circulating on social media.
Meachen's 'Death' Attributed to Bullying, Harassment from Book Community
The person claimed Meachen's death was the result of bullying and harassment from other members of her book community. Just weeks earlier, Meachen had posted a lengthy message about a suicide attempt amid struggles with her career.
Since then, Meachen's Facebook page has been used to promote her work and to share posts about suicide prevention. All along, fans of the page were led to believe the posts were written by her daughter.
"I missed it but Happy Heavenly Birthday," friend Kristen Collins wrote on Meachen's page in February 2021. "I know you're dancing in Heaven with nothing but peace in your heart finally."
Her final book, Love to Last a Lifetime, was published in October 2020. "Moms last book is on pre-order it was my wedding gift from her!," a post apparently from Meachen's Facebook account wrote alongside a link to purchase the book on Amazon.
Meachen allegedly continued to be a member of the group under the alias TN Steele following her purported death.
Meachen Announces She's Alive
Earlier this week, a person claiming to be the author using Meachen's account posted to The Ward, a private writer's Facebook group, announcing she was alive.
"I debated on how to do this a million times and still not sure if it's right or not," a screenshot of the post, which was shared by a Twitter user, showed. "There's going to be tons of questions and a lot of people leaving the group, I'd guess."
"But my family did what they thought was best for me, and I can't fault them for it," the message continued. "I almost died again at my own hand, and they had to go through all that hell again. Returning to The Ward doesn't mean much, but I am in a good place now, and I am hoping to write again. Let the fun begin."
Backlash on Social Media
Meachen's announcement was immediately met with backlash from members of the group. "I can forgive many things, but I don't think I could ever forgive you faking your death," author Karen Hall wrote in response to the Facebook post.
Author Samantha A. Cole, who said she knew Meachen before the events of 2020, shared a video response to her Facebook page.
"I was friends with this author, I was not close friends with this author, but we chatted once or twice a month for quite a while," Cole said. "I was devastated when I heard she had allegedly committed suicide. There were a lot of posts on her wall, allegedly from her family, blaming the book world for bullying her mother to the point that she took her own life. Those posts are now gone."
"There was an outpouring of outrage, support for those who were hurting, support for her family, people did free editing on her last book, so her family could release it for her, in memory of her," she continued. "There were people who were ripped apart because people started pointing fingers at everyone, blaming people, and I was one of the people being blamed for allegedly bullying her when I had done nothing of the sort."
"For two-and-a-half years, she sat back and took on this whole new life, not telling anyone in the book world who she was," Cole added. "Watching us grieve â her and her family accepted free editing, they accepted donations for a funeral that never took place."