Show Notes

Do you remember where you were when Lady Diana died? Michael Jackson, Steve Irwin, even Elvis Presley? What about horrible events like 9/11 or the Boxing Day Tsunami? And did you find as the news landed it hit you harder than you expected? Let’s be honest, even if someone like any of these people’s death hasn’t impacted you, you can probably think of another celebrity death that hit you harder than you imagined and this week we take look at how we can deal with the loss of a celebrity.

I remember where I was for all of these events mentioned above and I was also aware of how I felt a little self-conscious finding myself experiencing such harsh grief feelings around the death of a stranger.  You too, may find the feelings creep up on you or you ask yourself, why am I so upset about this, I didn’t even know this person?!  The sadness doesn’t just feel abstract, it can feel personal.  And I guess that’s why it feels kinda weird!

Feeling intense emotions around celebrity deaths is a common experience and, when we are already grieving, it can be even more deeply intensified especially seeing it on the media what feels like 24/7. Like so many things in grief, there are lots of reasons and no clear rules.

And there’s a few things to keep in mind:

  1. We don’t know celebrities, but we know celebrities.  They may be a regular part of our lives, with what they do.  We have often seen them grow and change and, in some cases we may have felt connected to those changes.
  2. We feel connected to our favorite celebs.  And these connections can be because they remind us of us!
  3. They are connected to friends or family who have died.  Many generations can be fans of the same person and therefore we feel it even more as a whole.
  4. We connect with the way the celeb died.  Sometimes the way a celebrity dies is a big wake up call. Whether it is suicide, illness or a shock it can impact us hugely as there can be a connection in our own lives.
  5. That celeb was always there to comfort us.  We loved being able to see them for what they did best and it may have been a comfort knowing we could count on that. It can almost feel like losing someone we knew really well.
  6. We see it everywhere.  The media are all over it and we see the death everywhere.
  7. It represents losing our past or our youth.  It may be if the celebrity is the same age we feel some kind of shocking connection to our own mortality.
  8. They will never do or create anything new.  This is a hard one to appreciate but to think we will never see or hear them again is truly acknowledging the end of an era and that is hard.

In the case of SK Warne it is so sad to imagine his amazing kids, his girls never able to have him walk them down the aisle. His son never able to have another round of poker… what they have all lost is too big and too horrible to imagine and I think that hurts us all the most.

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