Celebrity Grief

I am a little bit nervous about writing this article because I genuinely do not what to offend anyone. I am also the last person to tell you what to do or think, this is my own thoughts over recent days. I was sad to hear of the death of David Bowie, although I wouldn’t describe myself as a fan, I like some of his stuff and acknowledge he was a musical genius. I did become a little uncomfortable about some of the things I was seeing on social media. I understand when the news broke people posting news articles about, but still the same article hours later, and like me the posters must have their news feed clogged by it. It’s not there to inform people anymore as every finds these things out very quickly. Maybe it’s just me but I don’t see how continually posting the same news article helps in anyway. I do get the post about how much they will miss his music.

The death of Alan Rickman was even more sad for me because as you probably all know I’m a massive Harry Potter fan and in the films Alan Rickman has been one of my favourites. I got a text from a friend asking me how I was holding up, which I thought odd then the following day a work college was very concerned to see how I was. Both of which was very kind but a little hard for me to understand. I didn’t know him; I’ve never met him. I did love his acting and I feel for his loved ones, as I would with any death however it’s not going to impact on my life or make me become depressed out of it. I find peoples overly emotional response to the death of someone they haven’t met a little hard to fathom.
Hopefully by now anyone who is cross by my article has stopped reading because I’m going to mention a death that might get my flat fire bombed… Diana, there I’ve said it. Again please don’t misunderstand me it was sad a young mother died before her time, particularly for her children. She supported some worthy causes and undoubted did some good work. But here’s where I get in trouble, she wasn’t a saint, she had a pampered and privileged live style and did what a lot of people in her position do to fill her time, which is good works. She shamelessly courted publicity in the media war with her husband. Her death did not warrant the reaction to it. In my view it was totally over the top with people openly weeping for someone they didn’t know or had any real connection with. At the risk of sounding like a socialist (I’m not) it’s a shame people don’t show the same outrage and grief for unnecessary deaths for people dying from starvation, lack of clean water or basic medical health.

After showing this to my wife she thinks I should allow for people who use events like this express their own personal grief, they may be crying over Alan Rickman but it’s really because of a death of a loved one a year ago. Which is a valid point, and not just because my wife sometimes reads my posts!

Well there it is I will probably regret writing this I hope I haven’t offended you and please feel free to disagree with me in the comments.

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59 thoughts on “Celebrity Grief

  1. I agree with you. I don’t understand the mass outpouring of grief for people one doesn’t know personally. I know that when Nelson Mandela died I felt a profound sense of personal loss. So much so that my husband and I (because we happened to be in Cape Town), went to Parliament to sign the book of condolences. I am glad we did. A lot of that sense of loss was tied up in my own personal journey in South Africa and which I am unlikely to share on my blog. Mother Theresa died within weeks of Princess Diana. Again I felt personal loss. I had, however, met her. So. I was saddened and shocked by Bowie – loved his music. Didn’t know he had been ill. Rickman, less so.

    In all these cases I felt very sad, but as you say, my life goes on and has not changed one iota.

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  2. Not often does celebrity death make an impact on me.Personally I loathe the cult of celebrity. That said, David Bowie was a rare exception because his music punctuates my life. My reaction stemmed from reflection of my life rather than his.

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  3. I would tend to agree with your wife, that generally I think it takes people back to their personal journey with grief.

    That said, I recall being profoundly affected by the passing Heath Ledger which I was confused by. Looking at it what I realised was that I was affected by it so much because he was a similar age to me and his daughter was the same age of our youngest girl. I was feeling huge amounts of empathy and grief for his young daughter who would grow up without her father. Little did I know a few years later it would be my husband who was gone too soon and our girls now growing up without their father.

    For some I guess the reaction to the celebrity’s death is more about you and looking at your own life and not actually about the celebrity at all.

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    1. I think that is a very valid point. I sometimes need to remember just because I don not react like that doesn’t mean others reactions aren’t equally real. However I still do believe there is an element of mass hysteria that isn’t about personal grief but more about following the crowd. I’m sorry to here about the loss of your husband but your girls are lucky to have you.

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  4. For me, I admired David Bowie for his music and Alan Rickman as an actor. I felt sad that they had both died so suddenly from such a nasty disease. I am also sad when I read in the local paper about others who have died young or in horrible circumstances. I wrote a very brief post on both of these artists as my way of showing respect for them and my sadness that they died so young, despite them never seeing it, of course!

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  5. Totally agree – although I did post a little picture of both Bowie and Rickman on Twitter to mark their departure, I’m not grief stricken. It was more an acknowledgement of what they brought to the world when they were alive.

    I think Diana’s death was perhaps only so massively mourned because of all the previous media frenzy. She is, however that one celebrity / public figure that I can tell you exactly where I was when I heard the news (on the toilet!)

    I’ve only ever shed a tear over one celebrity death and that was Steve Irwin. Not entirely sure why, but I was massively into his nature programmes and environmental philosophies at the time. So overall, I don’t understand the reactions. Of course, when it’s time for Attenborough to go, I may be eating my words…

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  6. I would never be mad about anyone stating their opinion about anything. The only thing that does get me is when those same people bad-mouth MY opinions. I am not a celebrity-worshipper, and while I might like, or not like, a particular entertainer or politico, or whatever–I may admire their acting, singing, points-of-view…. an actor might be a real schmuck, but it is the roles they play that I judge them by. GOOD blog, interesting reading! I just published a poem on my blog about my feelings about watching the video of John Lennon’s 75th Birthday Concert. I’d love to have you visit. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks I’m glad you liked it. I agree we should all be able to express our opinions although it makes it harder when someone is a knucklehead 😉 John Lennons death was sad and so pointless. I will pop over and check out your blog as my writing is not going well today!

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  7. This is a very good post, I inderstand why you might hesitate but you point is valid and it’s yours and this is your blog! I agree that when high profile people leave this plane there is a outpouring of public grief. Some people take it harder, perhaps as a fan they felt like they knew the person personally. Grief is an individual thing though, everyone habdles it differently.

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      1. I don’t think you were being too judgmental. You are an observant person. Not everyone is. Taken to an extreme it probably isn’t the healthiest behavior.We have evidence of that in John Lennons death.
        I think part of the shock of a celibrity death is that they are not thought of as normal people that get ill or make poor choices or even get old. They are larger than life so death shouldn’t happen, illness shouldn’t happen! But it does. They are ordinary people like the rest of us living an extraordinary lives.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I’m suggesting some of it is over the top and a bit unhealthy. I’m not against people posting their feelings but when the reaction is they same as if a family member died something is wrong. But then that’s just me what would I know. The post was just how I have been feeling about it all over the last few days.

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  8. Eric, why do you apologize for being human? An artist makes you feel things. They make you laugh, cry, sad, angry, or transport you into a fantasy world. And if well done we love that character as much as we could love that character in real life with a slight twist: the character is perfect despite some flaws but the flaws are known and set in the story. In real life flaws can evolve and redirect at any given time.

    I love Bowie’s music and movies (labyrinth and Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence are favourites) and Professor Snape… brilliant does not even beging to describe him. So yes, i am sad too. Not to the brink of tears but enough to write a tanka about Bowie http://yourblogcoach.com/2016/01/11/lets-dance/ and to make a collage of some pictures of Professor Snape memorabilia from the Harry Potter studios in the UK https://twitter.com/Vidocq_CC/status/687776038731038721

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  9. I think you have a very valid point. We send so much energy, outrage and sadness over the actions of celebraties. I wonder if anyone relizes that they are just people who play pretent. That is what acting is it is convaying emotion. pretending to be someone else feeling the emotions of a character. You can respect and admire them for their craft but that doesn’t mean they know more about politics, or economics or how to run a household. There opinions should not mean more then others simply because they have a media mouth piece. I think people connect with the death of David Bowie and Alan Rickman because they we’re masters of their crafts and there talent and uniqueness has left a creative void. Don’t be afraid of pissing people off. That is how great discussion begins.

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  10. I don’t know about Diana, but although I was saddened by the news (especially so of Alan Rickman for the same reasons as yours!), I must agree with you. It’s hard to mourn a celebrity without even having met them.
    I couldn’t believe the sudden news but when I scrolled through Twitter and found people who’d allegedly been crying for hours… I found this a bit extreme and… inappropriate?
    Yeah… it’s a bit of an awkward topic, isn’t it? Thanks for speaking your mind though!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. It depends on how someone has impacted your life and if you have people close to you who do that in a positive way then you are lucky. I can honestly say that I feel a better connection to people through their art that I’ve never met, than some people I’ve met in the flesh. Bowie’s music was there for me in my teenage years when friends and family members weren’t. The fantasist who got me through my reality. I’m not hysterical or anything, but I paid tribute to the star I knew.

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  12. I think it is true we don’t know these celebrities personally but nevertheless I grew up loving David Bowie’s music, and I am sad at his passing, but that is not to say that I am crying and wallowing in overwhelming grief. The same is true for Alan Rickman, an actor with enormous talent, who I had so much respect for. Maybe we are mourning the loss of natural creativity, the passing of those poignant moments of our own youth, or shared recent experiences. The lack of a sufficient role model for the youngsters in the music of today, creates a fierce longing to admire artists such as Bowie. Nowadays so many music successes are manufactured rather than inherently talented. Alan Rickman was another rare breed, an actor with enormous, undisputed talent. Also perhaps on a subconscious level we all fear for our own demise and two well known celebrities dying at 69 of cancer in today’s world in which it is possible to live well beyond that seems a dreadful loss, a reminder of our own mortality, and creates a sense of vulnerability of succumbing to such a dreadful disease ourselves.

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  13. A very interesting post. Sometimes I think the sadness is for the mourning of an era in our past which the person symbolises – certainly that is what David Bowie was for me. You seemed to be hesitant to say what you were trying to say in case you upset Bowie fans. I think these days people are so concerned about upsetting someone that it can build up inside us. Unless we say what we feel we never learn anything. You might find this piece of street art interesting – it was posted by Scooj https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/49685797/posts/1089231545

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