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Why Do We Mourn Celebrities When They Die?

Category: 

Grieving Process

Posted On: Mar 17, 2017

Why Do We Mourn Celebrities When They Die?

Have you ever cried after hearing that a celebrity died? You're not alone in that, although some people think it's ludicrous to shed tears over someone you've never met. Psychology says others, so don't let anyone make you feel ashamed of your tears. You're not silly. There are several excellent reasons that explain why celebrity deaths affect us so deeply, even though we never met the famous people who died.

We Have the Illusion of Intimacy

Today's celebrities have no privacy. This isn't a rant about the paparazzi and tabloid news magazines, however. It's just a fact. We know almost everything about our famous celebrities. In addition to reading interviews and exposes, looking at photos, and following them on social media, we see them on-screen or onstage all the time. An actress baring her soul in a movie touches us, making us feel close to the character and the thespian. A singer pens a song that touches us deeply, bringing our emotions to the fore. We feel as if we know these people as if we've been invited into our lives. They may not know us, but we know them, we love them, we've wept and laughed and sang with them.

We Share Memories and Histories

The world wept for Prince and David Bowie recently because these two gods among men made music for decades. Their fans found meaning in the lyrics and melodies. The same goes for countless other musicians and actors. A movie might get someone through a tough time. An album might inspire someone to aim higher. When you follow someone's career for years and years, you naturally miss them. There's history between you, and too many memories to count.

We Want Stars to Live Happily Ever After

It's the theme in so many movies, shows, and books, after all. Celebrities are real people, but they often seem larger than life. We know they aren't the characters they play, and yet, we still long for the movie magic. We want to believe they're immortal, that they'll get the happy ending they deserve. Realizing that's not possible is always painful.

You're not weird or pitiful or wrong for crying over stars. It's natural, understandable, and something we've all done, even if we don't admit it.