You might be shocked by how upset you feel when a famous person dies.
If you’re grieving for a celebrity, you might feel like you don’t have the right to be upset. But there are many reasons why you might be affected. We’re here to help you make sense of how you’re feeling.
Why we grieve for celebrities
You feel like you knew them
Even though you may not have met in person, when someone is famous it may feel like you knew them. If they were very active on social media they may have shared very a lot of personal information which adds to the sense of really having known them.
They are someone you truly admired
If they are an artist, musician, actor or writer, their work may have helped you through a difficult time in your life or inspired you to be who you are. They may have been a role model. Or their work may remind you of more carefree periods or form a connection to your younger days. It’s natural to be upset when someone who was important to your life dies.
Celebrity deaths remind us of our own experiences
The death of someone famous may bring up memories of our own grief. Perhaps the person who died has a connection with someone you have lost, or reminds you of them. Perhaps someone you loved who has died was a big fan of theirs. All of these factors can make the death of a celebrity more upsetting.
Their deaths challenge our view of the world
Celebrities also feel like a part of the landscape that won’t change. The shock of their death can challenge our assumptions about the world. This can make us feel very vulnerable.
You are affected by the way the news is covered
Celebrity deaths are given a lot of news coverage. The responses of others on social media may include a lot of personal information and emotion. This can be difficult to deal with if you’re already feeling vulnerable.
Allow yourself to grieve
Give yourself permission to feel sad, for the person who has died and their loved ones, and also for what you have lost.
Talk to someone
There will be others who are affected by this death in the same way as you. Look for places where people are sharing their feelings online. Friends and family can also help, but it’s worth thinking about whether they are going through anything similar themselves. Not everyone will understand how the death of someone famous can feel.
Find ways to remember the person
Take time to remember the person. Try making a small memorial, looking at pictures, writing down some of your memories, or revisiting their work. You can also find more ways to remember someone who’s died in our guide.
Take a break from the news
We often feel like staying up to date with sad events can make us feel better. But it’s important to recognises when the news is making you feel worse.