Celebrity Deaths

kobe-bryant-gianna

Today the world is mourning the loss of basketball superstar Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and 7 others who died in a helicopter crash yesterday. Personally, I am not a sports fan, so I didn’t feel much emotionally in connection to Kobe, although I empathize with the loss that his family, friends, fellow players, and fans feel, and always feel sorrow at the loss of children who barely got to live.

When celebrities die, I’ve often heard people complain about all the fuss they get. About how we act like they matter more than any other person who lives and dies. People complain about the adulation celebrities receive after their death, while “real” heroes like soldiers, firefighters, police officers, emergency workers, and others die without much recognition at all.

While I understand this sentiment, I think the reason that celebrity tragedies get so much attention isn’t because we truly think their lives are worth more than anyone else’s, but because so many people feel like they actually know them. If we are fans of their art or achievements, we feel a bond with them, even if we have never met.

I know I felt this way with Michael Jackson, Robin Williams, and Alan Rickman. I loved their work, their personalities, even their flaws to some extent. It felt like there was a relationship between us, even though there wasn’t. Thinking about their deaths still makes me sad because I miss them, just like I miss my father and sister who have passed on.

I believe this feeling can even occur with people who died before we were born. I feel like I know Vincent Van Gogh, Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, and John Lennon in intimately real ways, when obviously I didn’t (unless I lived previous lives, but that is another topic altogether lol).

Who are some celebrity deaths that you felt deeply?

20 thoughts on “Celebrity Deaths

  1. I felt crushed when Princess Diana died. She seemed to have such a good heart and truly wanted to help people. She’d divorced that jerko Charles who’d cheated on her all along and was trying to grab a bit of romantic happiness for herself, but that was cut short. I know lots of ordinary people also have tragic lives, but I did feel super sad about her, and she was my age also.

    I also felt bad when James Gandolfini died. I really liked him as an actor, even post-Sopranos. I’d been looking forward to many more movies with him.

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  2. I think this is very insightful, what you have written. I’ve felt sadness at quite a few actors’ deaths – older people who I remember as young and strong in various TV shows or movies from my youth (which is now 40+ years in the past) and to hear they have died, it sets me back a little every time because once again I am reminded how quickly time has passed for me, and how much.

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  3. You named the 3 that hit me very hard but I can also add Kurt Cobain, Chris Cornell, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. You hit the nail on the head, we DO feel like we know them.
    It’s an interesting paradox for me because my fiance is a former professional football in the NFL. My two sons know him in a totally different way because he has been retired for twenty years now and recently my oldest asked me of he is a celebrity. It’s a great talking point for me to say to them yes, he was in the public eye but he’s a human being like you and I. That’s what matters first and foremost. I find it kinda creepy sometimes when we go out here in his hometown and people don’t know when to walk away or just say hi and keep going.
    When Michael Jackson died, it felt like a family member for me. I have a background in dance and I idolized him. His music touched my soul like nobody else. When celebrities pass it has you think about their contribution to your life and forces me to reflect upon my own. Life is precious and short and the only control I have is how I respond to life’s events. I choose to do it from my heart always. Good post, thank you💜

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    1. It is kind of funny that when Kurt actually died, I wasn’t too affected, but I later became a huge Nirvana fan and sort of mourned his death later, even though I lived through it in reality back when I was only 11 and hadn’t thought too much about it.

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      1. After reading more of the comments, Princess Diana really got me as did JFK Jr…..I was 16 when Kurt passed and my boyfriend in hs idolized him, played bass and even looked a lot like him.

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  4. I’m one of the folks that doesn’t fall into all the hype.

    ANY death, especially an early one, is a tragedy. Celebrities are people just like you and I though. I don’t hate any of them for getting more attention. I think that’s just jealousy and envy honestly. By the same token though, I keep it in perspective and realize they’re just normal people. 🙂

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  5. I’m a Christian so I am always cautious because the internet does come out with some bonkers stuff but there is a swell growing around it being a ritual. Tough one, you have a wife suffering a double shock but if true then it’s even worse. We all known Hollywood is a monolith of awful and worse….

    https://alltruth.exposed/2020/02/16/conspiracy-theory-kobe-bryant-was-sacrificed-for-an-illuminati-grammys-ceremony/

    Liked by 1 person

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