9 Reasons It Is Not Crazy To Grieve A Celebrity Death

Raise your hand if David Bowie’s death hit you harder than you expected.  Okay, I can’t see you; you can’t see me, but I assure you, my hand is raised.  I had a plan for today’s post, but I can seem to focus to write it because I have been thinking obsessively about celebrity deaths and the grief that accompanies them.  Let’s be honest, even if David Bowie’s death hasn’t impacted you, you can probably think of another celebrity death that hit you harder than you imagined.

I can remember exactly where my middle school-self was when I found out Kurt Cobain died.  I had a moment of collective grief at Target when someone in the checkout line shared the announcement that Philip Seymour Hoffman died. But I know as well as the next person that it is easy to feel a little self-conscious when you find yourself experiencing grief feelings around the death of a stranger.  The feelings creep up on you and you are saying to 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 that feels, well, kinda weird.

As usual, we are here to answer that nagging question that comes up all too often: am I crazy?  Nope, not even a little bit.  Feeling intense emotions around celebrity deaths is a common experience and, when we are already grieving, it can be even more deeply intensified.  What’s this celebrity grief all about and why does it happen?  Like so many things in grief, there are lots of reasons and no clear rules.  Some people feel intense emotions around a celebrity death, others feel nothing.  Though the reasons for those emotions may vary dramatically, here are just a few things to keep in mind:

  1. We don’t know celebrities, but we know celebrities.  They have often been a regular part of our lives, in the shows and movies we love, creating the music that defines moments in our lives, creating art and writing we love.  We have often seen them grow and change and, in some cases have felt connected to those changes.
  2. We feel connected to our favorite celebs.  These connections are not just about how much we love, appreciate and respect these people, but sometimes because they remind us of, well, us.  This can be as specific as their connection to a moment in our past, or as general as the fact that they are about our age or have something else in common to us.
  3. They are connected to friends or family who have died.  This is a big one.  We heard from so many people yesterday who shared that, though they personally had not been David Bowie fans, their mother, father, spouse, child or other family member who died was a fan.  Each time we lose something else connected to our loved one we can experience the sensation that we are even further from our loved one.
  4. We connect with the way the celeb died.  Whether it is cancer, suicide, overdose, accident or any other type of death, this can hit a nerve.  It may be because we have struggled with the same thing, or it may be because we lost someone in the same way.
  5. That celeb was always there to comfort us.  Maybe it was binge watching The Sopranos to get you through the early days of your own grief.  Or perhaps it was listening to the Velvet Underground that got you through a particularly painful time.  Whatever it was, when a celebrity dies who brought us comfort in our difficult times, it can be especially painful and bring up past losses.
  6. We see it everywhere.  Seriously, everywhere.  You turn on the TV, listen to the radio, log on to social media, look at google news and you just can’t avoid it.  This constant exposure can be overwhelming and it can make it hard to get a break from the tough emotions.
  7. It represents losing our past or our youth.  This is an interesting one, that I hadn’t given a lot of thought (maybe because I am still young enough that I am not experiencing the death of many celebs of my generation).  But someone posted on our facebook page yesterday, “I guess celebrity deaths make me feel like almost nothing is left from my childhood/youth…”.  This is a very real impact of celebrity deaths and, I suspect, probably becomes more and more intensified as more and more celebs of a generation die.
  8. Other people make us feel bad.  When people don’t validate our feelings it just leaves us feeling worse, like we can’t be honest and we don’t have support.  If someone has every made you feel like your grief around a celebrity’s death was irrational or crazy, you may have found yourself hesitating to talk about it with others in the future.
  9. They will never do or create anything new.  One minimizing thing people say when an artist, actor, or musician dies is “at least the world still has all their work”.  Though this is true, and these works of art, music, or political action are often what has touched us about celebs, having their existing works doesn’t mean there isn’t a deep sense of loss that they will never create anything new.  We will hear a new song, read a new book or poem, see a new film, or go to another live performance.  We can simultaneously feel grateful for the works that exist while grieving the loss of their potential future works.

To wrap up, I can help but share something I saw on twitter around Bowie’s death, interestingly tweeted by a fan before his death:

What has your experience been grieving a celebrity death?  Leave a comment to let us know!

August 30, 2017

99 responses on "9 Reasons It Is Not Crazy To Grieve A Celebrity Death"

  1. Best article I’ve read…
    On July 20th 2017, I got a call at work from my daughter stating that Chester Bennington from Linkin Park had killed himself. I never reacted to a celebrity death in such away. Yeah it was sad when Robin Williams Died, and it was sad when David Bowie died. All deaths are sad because of their friends and family they leave behind.

    But Chester for me was what this article was about. I didn’t know Chester but I swear he was the only person that knew me. His music was like a personal tour in my brain. I never felt alone because Chester sang the words that I needed to express. I got into his music in my early 20s my kids grew up listening to his music. I watched him grow from hybrid theory to one more light…his humor, his humbleness, and of course his talent.

    I never thought of topic 4 but that hit the nail on the head. I related a lot with Chester a lot of his songs were about depression or dying in some way. I have tried countless times to end my life to just to fail and often times after failing and getting back up it was chesters voice that got me through those dark times.

    I have nothing to give the world just another waist of space.., and Chester succeeded and he had so much to give as #9 talked about. I have no more of his stuff to look forward to and say omg yes that’s exactly what I was trying to say…
    and I think the worst part is the shame of all of it…like #8 talks about… if I try to tell ppl how hard it is for me (even before I lost Chester my depression was extreme this makes it so much worse) they roll their eyes… they think I’m pathetic.. so therefore I think I’m pathetic… they don’t know 2 weeks ago I tried to end it all… they don’t know that just a few minutes ago I was walking around my hotel room looking for ways i may be able to hang myself…. when I go to my friends and family and all I get is eye rolls or the get over it speech and than of course some stranger will say something nice but deep down you know they won’t know if u will be buried 6 ft under the next day nor do they care (they say they do but we all know ) and than once ur dead that’s when your friends and family listens…

    I think these articles should be put out there ppl shouldn’t be ashamed of their feelings. Even if you don’t understand why someone is grieving something like even children can grieve toys you can still sympathize and not make them just want to hide away and feel like freaks..,

    Great article ❤️

    • Thank you for writing this.
      It is all so true. I feel like people are judging me over my grief and thinking that I should just get over it. I could be completely making it all up in my head, who knows. I’ll never know. It’s comforting to know that other Chester fans understand how each other feels and I have found my comfort and support through his fb memorial groups.

      Big hugs. Xoxo

  2. I am going through this right now with the passing of Troy Gentry just last week Friday 9/8/2017. I start to feel guilty for having it hit me harder than I thought anything would (Only one thing that I believe would be harder which won’t get into).

    I am only one of probably millions of fans and found that most people when shared the news, pretty much passed it over (a couple reacted with tear emoji); but only one of my sister’s reached out and gave condolences to me and I still wasn’t’ sure it was okay (though I know we grieve how we do), I also feeling guilty that I did not have this impact when losing my own cousin in May 34 years old to cancer.

    With Troy, I try to tell myself, yes grieving for what the loss means to me (they helped me through my 1st serious depression) and I got to see them in concert twice that I will now cherish forever. I had just got through saying not long ago, if I was ever going to be able to afford a concert again (though had been blessed seeing Montgomery Gentry) it would be them 🙁 But also grieving for his wife & kids and don’t ask me why my heart breaks nearly as much for Eddie, as after his grieving which will may not completely heal, he has to figure out “where to go from here.”

  3. George Michael… I still cry sometimes when I hear his music… And sometimes his music makes me feel better. Really mixed emotions, but I felt like I’d lost a childhood friend even though we never had actually met.

    • I also am grieving the loss of george michael. I’ve loved him since 1981, and his death had hit me really hard. And I’m trying to understand why I feel so incredibly sad, and cry whenever a song comes on. I’ve decided what I’m gonna do, is watch his documentary when it’s on, drink coupius amount of wine, and see if I can cry this utter sadness out.

  4. I am still grieving over Chester. I think I might for a while. It’s kind of embarrassing so I don’t talk about it much, except with my youngest daughter who was raised with LP. She and I both struggle with severe anxiety and depression. I felt suicidal a couple of years ago too, so I know Chester’s pain. He was my age- even born the same month (5 days after me), so I kind of feel connection there too. We are both very sensitive and wear our heart on our sleeve. I feel so silly about grieving over someone I didn’t know, but I understand his pain and it hits so close to home. I wish I could get over it, but celebrity or not, grief has its own time table. I’m glad I’m not alone. I’m sad that I can’t really talk about it with others without them thinking I’m weird. I’m just a very sensitive person and things like this affect me greatly. I have a hard time with change. This is a lot to process.

  5. Mourners of Chester, there are some great Facebook groups out there. It’s a little comforting to know so many people feel the exact same way as you. You’re not alone.

  6. I’m here also cause of Chester. This hurts and I can’t stop mourning. Can’t stop listening to LP and crying a lot. I feel stupid & I feel completely alone and feel like no one is supporting me because no one understands.
    Your grief about Chester helps me a lot.

  7. I’m so glad to have found this article and thank you. I thought people who were morning celebrities deaths were silly. Until yesterday. I spent the day mourning the death of Sam Shepard. In my youth I idolize him. I was terribly jealous of Jessica Lang. lol. I hadn’t thought of Mr Shepard in years. His plays inthalled me. His acting was very good but his playwright skills are tremendous. Fool for Love was like an anthem for me. With his death ended my youth, my struggles in the theatre and caused me to revisit a life long passion I poured everything I had into it for many years. I had hoped attending an Ivy league school would have been a chance meeting with Mr Shepard. Due to ongoing health issues I nevervamounted to more than attending a fine school. Mr Shepard passing brought all that back and then I felt so old. An American great gone and so is my youth, gone. Today i,m feeling sad and drained. I hope tomorrow will be better and one day be able to open one of Mr Shepard plays and languish in his raw beauty of an American Western experience. RIP

  8. I guess I am not alone.

    I have been grieving Chesters death since that morning. I felt something was off. I woke up grouchy and headed into work. I still had not been notified by my family of his passing. I stumble upon it because of the ABC13KTRK alerts on the OJ case. So, I cleared my phone and like always, jumped onto Facebook to clear my notifications.
    I favorited TMZ when Paul Walker died. So everytime I get on Fb, TMZ is the first thing I see on my feed before anyone else.

    And then it begins. With out any warning. I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it. I thought it was a bad joke. Miss information on their part. I clocked out and went to the break room. Looked at article after article. No news outlet had broken the story so it wasn’t true for me yet. A coworker saw how upset I was, that he helped me find a news provider who broke the news first. It said ABC England. And then, thats when I received the alert from ABC13KTRK. My phone was blowing up by then. My Facebook full of messages. My nieces, my husband, my concert buddy from my high school and a few of my close friends as well trying to reach out to me.

    It’s set in. For the first couple of nights I would wake up thinking it was just a bad dream. But now I just cry and cry! My heart is broken. I feel like a piece of me has died. Honestly I just want to stop feeling like shit! It’s been a long time since I felt like this!

    I loved Chester. His music helped me through a shitty teenage life that I had!! I had been at the low point in my life where everything seemed as if it would be better for everyone if I ceased to exist. Of course I went through heavy counseling. Trying to get my head on straight. It took a good while but of course it still lives inside of me. My depression is not accompanied by suicidal thoughts anymore.

    I have been okay for a good while now. Every so often, i do have my self inflicting episodes where I over think shit in my head. So I try to relax and leave that alone by being with my little girl whom means the world to me. If it wasn’t for her…. I don’t think I would be walking this earth now. So on that note, I close this.

    Thanks to Chester Bennington for helping me thought it with his beautiful voice and messages. I had a friend with out him even knowing it :). I will miss you forever. And I hope to meet you once again. I love you. You indeed were my hero!

    RIP Chester Bennington
    “You were loved by the world!!”

    • You are deff not alone! I have dealt with depression ever since I was a kid, shitty childhood you name it.
      I went to counseling weekly not that long ago and was put on antidepressants but stopped taking them in april because I was feeling better. As soon as I heard about Chester I spiraled back into it, I cant stop watching videos, interviews, one more light is on repeat, Ive cried. Even though I didn’t know him personally him and the rest of LP got me through a lot as a child too and even my adulthood up until now. His infectious smile, the way he treated people, and talked about his problems I just had such a huge relation. I feel like I just lost a really close friend and that feels crazy to say because I only met him once back in 2007. It hurts so much to know that he was going through so much pain and that no one was able to help him.

    • Wow. I thought I was the only “crazy” person out there that has been hit hard by Chester’s death. I can’t stop listening to LP songs. I’m crying everyday. Like ppl have said on here already, i feel like I lost a buddy of mine. I was in my late teens early 20s when I fell in love with their music. I lost a piece of my growing up when I heard of his death. It hurts. Then again, his family is hurting so much more. I feel so bad for his kids and wife and the thought of how those kids will be in the future saddens me as well. RIP Chester. And for his family and friends, I hope one day they will fine peace

      • You’re definitely NOT crazy. There’s millions of us out there who are all feeling the same way! If you haven’t already, join some of the fb memorial groups. They’re great support.

  9. Like a few others before me,I just stumbled upon this site because of Chester Bennington’s death which hit me like a ton of bricks when I realized that the reports turned out to be true-I was online when his name and Linkin Park began trending on Twitter and initially thought (and probably wanted to believe) it was just another hoax.LP was a big part of my teen years when my brother and I used to endlessly play Hybrid Theory and Meteora. Collision Course was released during my senior year in high school and I was truly obsessed with Numb Encore (yes,I’ll be turning 3-0 at the end of this year!).I have to admit that I was one of those fans who didn’t care much about the band members’ personal lives and just appreciated the art that they produced.I also listened to Mike Shinoda’s band,Fort Minor.Since then,college and life happened so I didn’t listen to the band as much but it wasn’t until literally a few weeks ago that I began reminiscing about the past and started listening to LP again incl. Chester’s acoustic version of “Rolling in the Deep” which I played in my kitchen one Sunday afternoon in June,and told my brother that I could not believe that this much time has elapsed because it seemed like just yesterday it was released.I also remember vividly thinking that I’d like to see them live in concert one day because they sound better than most artists.

    I’m well aware that this “reminiscence” of yesteryear as well as having since learned about Chester’s experiences with bullying and abuse (which I can relate to) has led to me being affected by his death (often crying like a baby at times) as if I knew him personally when reality is quite the contrary and isn’t even 1/4 of the pain his family and friends are going through right now-most fans can relate to this conundrum.I’m glad to have read about experiences from other like-minded people in the wake of Chester’s death because I bet if you were to share these thoughts with most people in real life,they’d probably think you are a ‘certifiable nutcase’.

    The only consolation in all of this is that Chester may have finally attained the peace that he so badly yearned for during his life.

  10. It sucks that I can’t grieve Chester properly because I’m too busy with my anxiety and depression that his passing triggered back; I was already dealing with a relapse or / with preventing a relapse that I felt coming weeks ago and when he died I just gave up. I had a panic attack earlier today when I saw a headline about the 911 call and I had to go to the loo to cry over the dedication the band did. I guess I feel like I myself lost part of my battle when he lost his.

  11. I’m here too because of the death of Chester. I have been a Linkin Park fan since I was in middle school, I’m now 27. I had tickets to see their show in Las Vegas in September. My sister called me and as soon as she told me the news I just started crying. I came to this page because I’ve been so upset for these past few days. I constantly search for any new news…even though there can’t be any other outcome to the story.

    I tell myself I didn’t know him so why am I so upset? I can only imagine the true pain his wife, children, family, and friends must be dealing with. I feel selfish because I’m so sad I’ll never get to see them in concert while all these others are missing him as a father, husband, and friend.

    I always thought Linkin Park would be there and I’m incredibly sad Chester and essentially Linkin Park are gone.

    I’ve never been really affected by a celebrity’s death. I was quite sad about Robin Williams and Cory Monteith but Chester’s death has hit me particularly hard and I just wish I could turn back time, I keep hoping it’ll somehow be a bad joke.

    I hope in the end he found peace

  12. It’s helpful to read the others here for Chester. I last saw them in 2014 and had a wonderful time, but I did not keep up on L.P. news. I’d listened to Hybrid Theory and Meteora countless times through elementary, middle school and even highschool and college. The day before his passing I was screaming along to Nobody’s Listening.

    My husband texted me while I was at work in disbelief and I immediately took to the internet. I made it about an hour further until my boss let me take the rest of the day off because I couldn’t speak without sobbing.

    I cried for another hour with their music on shuffle. I read more articles being released. I didn’t understand why someone wasn’t with him on Chris’s birthday. But mostly I just had no idea he was depressed since I didn’t follow the band news. I feel so hurt, I keep crying 4 days later. I want to scream. But I also want to feel this, I don’t want to pretend my feelings aren’t there.

    But I don’t know what to do. Crying won’t bring him back or help me understand. It’s just so painful to really listen to ALL the album’s and hear his voice and lyrics screaming for help. There’s nothing as a fan I could’ve done to change his mind.

    I also became afraid for my other favorite artists with rather dark music. Trent Reznor, Marilyn Manson… idk where they are at in their lives but like Chester, appearances can be decieving.

    So I’m trying to educate myself on depression and suicidal thoughts and be there even more for anyone in this downward spiral.

  13. I’m also here beacause of Chester but I think another important reason why i am feeling so awful is that I never got to see Linkin Park live, which is probably the only thing I ever dreamed of. I live in Bolivia and when they went to Peru I had the chance to finally go to a concert, but my parents said that the flight and the hotel and everything was too expensive and of course I understood and thought that there would be another chance in the future. I kept thinking that there would be another chance until there wasn’t. So it’s not only the fact that one of my heroes passed away, it’s also the frustration of never being able to make that dream come true.

  14. I literally Googled “how to deal with celebrity deaths” after spending the past three days feeling so sad, tired and actually rather depressed about the passing of Chester Bennington. Celebrity deaths have made me feel sad, don’t get me wrong, but not like this. Usually a case of listen to their music for a bit and then get on with things. In this case I’m sitting in my room at night waiting for people in the house to go to bed so I can put headphones on and repeat Hybrid Theory until i have cried myself to sleep. I mean what is that all about? Part of me feels so silly for being like this about a ‘stranger’. I haven’t really listened to Linkin Park after Meteora, save for the tracks in the Transformers movies so now I feel a bit dramatic and I can’t voice this weird grief even with my friends because I feel silly. Like a big, 32 year old baby. Crying over someone I don’t know personally and who I have never met.

    I don’t know. I’ve never reacted to death like this before, even with friends and family who I have known, so these feelings are quite foreign to me. But I’m happy to have my weirdness validated. By strangers hehe! At least I’m not a weirdo on my own!

    Thanks for writing this article. I can go and listen to Linkin Park and feel less foolish for crying half way through it <3

    • If it helps, we are the same age and I have been doing very similar things. I have been googling why I feel so impacted by this. It is nice to know I am not alone as I feel like I cannot be truly honest about this with my friends. I also happen to work in the mental health field and am in school for counseling so it feels extra personal. The best connection I’ve made for myself it that these guys started at a perfect age for me. I was in high school and experiencing typical teen angst and their music really fit me. I have a lot of memories associated with their music. I have followed them over the years. “Waiting for the End” is probably my favorite song, it helped me through two breakups and I would literally listen to it on repeat in my car until little by little I started to feel better. I feel grief over the loss that I don’t know how I will get to experience them in the future and it very clearly won’t be the same moving forward, this part is probably selfish as I also will never get to see them in concert I imagine. I don’t know if that helps or not but I absolutely am feeling similarly to you. I’m trying to find solace in the fact he’s no longer in pain but it’s still hard. Praying for his family and friends.

    • I’m also 32 and crying like a baby over chester. It seems so strange to feel this way about it. I struggle with depression, and going to concerts is one of the few things I can do where I feel truly happy. I saw LP a few times, and was really looking forward to seeing them next week. I’ve been to hundreds of concerts, but my favorite was LP during a thunderstorm where I danced in the rain without a care in the world. I think part of what makes this so hard is that I don’t know anyone else who is this upset about it. Thank goodness for the Internet to let us know we aren’t really alone.

  15. I ended up on this page because I am still crying over Linkin Park’s Chester. I’m 22 and have been a fan since I was 7 years old. His music got me through dark time growing up, and I’ve attempted suicide myself a multitude of times. I’ve never really been hit this hard by a celebrity death before, but seeing this page made me feel less crazy about my own grief. Just a month ago I was hit by serious depression and was considering to end it all, but I snapped out of it. For the last week I was binge listening to Linkin Park and the morning of Chester’s death I had this bad feeling in my gut. Ironically, I popped their first CD in my car before heading to work. What really angers/frightens me is that fact that Chester saved so many of us, but he was swallowed up by his own darkness. Mental illness always seems to be brushed under the carpet. Even I am afraid to tell people how I feel… I hope Chester has found peace, and his loved ones can cope for the best. As for now, I’m just trying to shut out this sadness…

    • It’s crazy how many people are here about Chester. Maybe a handful to some but enough to show how much of an impact he (and Linkin Park) made. When I first heard the news, I was glib. Shocked, but I made a comment about how it was ‘unsurprising’. I hadn’t listened to Linkin Park since Minutes to Midnight, which I always thought was a mediocre album with only one good song.

      Now I’m sitting up at stupid o’clock in the morning bawling my eyes out because this band was my obsession in a difficult adolescence.

      I really didn’t expect to grieve like this. I think Aisha here hits the nail on the head; it’s scary to think that someone who we felt was there for us and shone a light on all the darkness we were trying to figure out in our most vulnerable years was so deeply consumed by his own demons that he couldn’t make it out. But I also feel like we owe it to him to keep going, because of the strength he gave us to continue, because of the raw emotion weaved into everything he touched.

      Still, I feel like a chunk of myself has been ripped up. Recently, I listened to some of their music, and in my mind, I could visualise Chester as he was during my very first gig so far away but still in the same room as me, the euphoria I felt at such a thought all that time ago hit me like a sledgehammer. The memory is still so visceral, and it brought back more and more.

      Examining my grief, I know that my reaction shows that Chester was good at what he did. Reaching out, touching people with his music, exposing his pain to terrible scrutiny but being bold enough to do so in the first place. And this is the first time that someone who was so integral to who I was as a teenager and who I am now, even if I failed to realise it, has passed away, and in such a tragic way. I was embarrassed at first but now I know it’s important to feel this. It’s important to process these emotions and think about what they mean for me, and to discuss them with other people and just… grieve.

      I hope everyone who drops by the page, whether for Chester, or David, or Chris, or anyone who was important to them for any reason, I hope you all found the comfort you needed, I hope that you have support or will seek it. I hope you’ll stay if you’re feeling like you can’t, because your experience matters and must be shared. I hope everyone who knew the departed knows they can reach out, too.

  16. I am also here due to Chester’s death. I had a surprisingly strong reaction to it which I found strange because over the past few years, I actually lost interest in Linkin Park. I was a big fan when I was a teen and I was dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts. I felt a deep connection to their music. It helped me feel less alone and it helped ease my pain. I guess that’s why his death is emotional for me as well. Without realizing it, their music actually shaped me as a person and made me who I am today. At the same time, I’m just shocked because Chester sang about getting through shitty times and facing the pain head on and that’s why his suicide seems a little out of character to me yet he was drinking and his thinking could have been clouded. I agree with one of the other commenters that he shouldn’t have been alone. This should be a lesson to really be there for loved ones with mental illness and don’t leave them alone when they’re going through a painful situation. Its also a probably good idea to not drink or do drugs if your mentally ill and going through something particularly hard. Mental illness clearly needs to be a more critical priority in our society and there needs to be more vigilance in keeping the mentally ill safe. At any rate, he will always be a legend. He did a great service by empowering many lives. 💛Rest in power, Chester Bennington.💛

  17. I am here from Chester’s death as well. Reading this made me feel less bad about my feelings that I have had over the worlds loss of this amazing man. When I read the news I broke down and just cried, and haven’t stopped. This man touched so many, and like me got so many through such hard times in our lives. He’s been there when times were rough and it’s hard to think that any of this is real. I look up and the sky though and hope that wherever Chester is now, this pain that caused him to do this is gone and he can finally be happy💙. I will continue to morn the death of my hero, and I hope someone else feeling the way I do feels this and knows they are not alone, because he was an amazing man, that touched so many, and will be remembered.

    • Tawny Fields-BennettJuly 21, 2017 at 10:29 pmReply

      I am also here because of Chester Bennington’s death. Though this isn’t the first celebrity death that has hit me hard; it’s feeling like one of the hardest. I graduated in 2001 so I spent all of my “learning and struggling to be an adult” years (late teens and twenties) relating to every single L.P. song. The music was like a theme song to all of thoights, pains and emotions. I discovered the root of all my demons and my life has drastically changed since I found Jesus in 2011. It may sound silly, but reliving all of the music and relating to all of the pain I almost feel guilty…like somehow I’ve forgotten and left my friend behind without offering him help…lol and like the article said it makes me feel crazy because I don’t even “know him”. He was truly a deeply poetic, incredibly talented and beautiful soul. R.I.P. Chester, my prayers go out to he and his loved ones.

  18. Like a couple of others Chester Benningtons death has led me here. I feel embarrassed to be so upset but it’s nice to know I’m not alone.

    Been a fan for over 15 words and their music has been an indescribable comfort in my life. Beyond devastated he was my absolute idol. I love the whole of Linkin Park but had a soft spot for Chester, loved the Out of Ashes album too. Just listened to him sing Hallelujah at Chris’s funeral and bawling my eyes out. I truly loved him as much as you can love a ‘stranger’. RIP Chester, perhaps it was a crazy moment of despair, maybe it would have passed if you had somebody there with you. Too late now though and I join thousands of L.P. fans who are truly devastated by your gorgeous soul passing, not to mention your wife, children, band mates and other loved ones who will be feeling a lot worse than us.

    • Reading this made me feel less alone, and comes at a comfort knowing realizing that so many others were so touched, and I know Chester knows that as well. ❤

  19. Thank you for writing this and making me feel less crazy. I’ve been hit pretty hard by Chester Benningtons death, especially as he got me through some difficult periods of my life, and knowing he just couldn’t get through his. I think a lot of my grief comes from knowing the darkness just overpowered him and he saw no other way out other than suicide. From someone who has had these thoughts, it’s scary to think that maybe it doesn’t get better, and I hope this doesn’t give out the message that it is hopeless, as it isn’t and it does get better. I hope Chester found his peace and I hope his family, friends and those where he played a part in their lives can find peace, that whatever his darkness was he is relieved of suffering and strength finds them to help them through this truly tragic time. Please don’t ever feel you are alone and someone will always want to help.

  20. Part of me has died with Chester Bennington………..saying I’m absolutely devestated dose not quite hit the mark. Crying my heart out. #NUMB. No-one else close to me understands only the Linkin Park fans know how I feel and without Chester Bennington I would never have met them. Rip to Chester and Rip to the part of me that has gone too x

  21. I’ve just found this page after the suicide of Chester bennington … it has literally devastated me. 17 years I’ve been a fan of linkin park and I followed literally everything they have done. Chester was my hero and I met him twice. The second time I was brave enough to tell him how much he and the band had helped me through domestic abuse and severe mental health, he told me I was amazing and gave me the biggest hug. Now I’m thinking who was there to give him his hug 🙁 I’m angry today too that he didn’t reach out to anyone and why he was left alone of Chris Cornell’s birthday when everyone knew how badly he was affected by his suicide 🙁 but reading all of this had made me see that it’s normal for me to grieve for him … there was a genuine love there for chester and a part of me has gone with him. Thank u for validating how I’m feeling xx

  22. I’m very much hit hard by the passing of Adam West. This has never happened to me before and I never expected to be deeply affected by his death. Even up to now, I still cry rivers of tears whenever I remember him. In fact, just today, I was watching a compilation of his scenes in Family Guy on YouTube and cried buckets of tears (again) when I saw the last part of the video that said: “In loving memory, Adam West, 1928-2017.” I just don’t understand why I feel this much pain when, in fact, there had been so many celebrity deaths before his. Besides, we’re not even related and none of my family members are a fan of his. It’s just me, really. I read your post and it seems the most logical reason I can think of is because, well, for one, I’m a big fan of the actual superhero, Batman, and secondly, I love the ’60s Batman TV series and love Adam’s version of the caped crusader. I love how he made that whole campy thing work, straight-faced and all, which made his portrayal even more endearing; this is what made him into a pop culture icon. But what truly saddens me is the fact that he struggled for work after his short stint as Batman. I truly felt bad for him that Hollywood wouldn’t cast him into other roles because he had been typecasted, which is really sad because the man had talent. He was the most underrated actor during his prime. Maybe the hardships he’d had as a struggling actor while dealing with depression and alcoholism, is what got to me. It’s got to be something about that that struck a chord in me that somehow makes me feel connected to him because I myself am dealing with depression. I also admire him for really hanging in there even when the going got tough. I don’t know what I would’ve done if I were in his shoes. I guess another reason why I feel connected to him is because I see him as a real-life hero in that he was able to defeat his inner demons while trying to shake off his Batman image and association to the character and trying to cope with finding work to pay the bills and feed his family even if it meant losing his dignity, which meant donning his costume time and again to sign autographs and shake hands with fans at country fairs and motor shows, his lowest point being, as he not-so-fondly recalled, “Being shot out of a cannon dressed as Batman.” Despite all that, he was able to get out of it in one piece and was able to find his niche in the voice acting industry. He really did come out the winner in the end. His life story is quite inspiring and I feel that a lot of people will be able to relate to him. Again, maybe this is why I am grieving for the loss of a truly talented man with a great sense of humor because he is, after all, one of a kind and, for me, a true hero.

  23. He’s been gone for 4 years this July, but I still can’t get past the death of Cory Monteith. I can’t watch Glee or hear his voice or even think about him without crying. I think it’s a combination of things. The fact that we was so young (31!), and the fact that we’ll never know what he could have been. With his charm and good looks, he could have been the next Matt Damon or Ben Affleck. Or, with his goofiness and comedic stylings, he could have been the next Jim Carrey or Ben Stiller. With his romantic, leading man appeal he could have been the next Ryan Gosling or Patrick Swayze. We’ll never know what he could have been, or what he could have done. I miss him so much, and I’ve never even met him.

  24. I don’t know if it’s grief, but I have moments of deep sadness that Stevie Ray Vaughan is gone. He will be gone 27 years this August. I never completely leaves me. I am a guitarist and from the moment I heard him play, I loved his music. The fact that he cleaned up his life, only to die in a helicopter crash, hit me hard.
    The recent death of Greg Allman seemed to have opened those feelings up again. I am totally agreeing with the above reasons it is ok to grieve a celebrity death.

  25. I am so sad over Chris Cornell’s dead. It hit me harder than I expected. I think about him a lot and I have cried a lot. I listen to his music and I have this heavy feeling. I mourn him like he was my friend, and it feels weird. And yet, I can’t stop grieving him. He’s been dead for about 10 days and I thought I would just stop thinking about him, but I’m not done yet. His music helped me in dark times, and I have always been very impressed by him as a musician. His suicide shocked me. I will just let myself mourn. Thanks for this article.

    • I have been in tears almost every day since Chris passed away, I haven’t spoke to anyone about it ,but reading these comments has been a comfort to me as I don’t feel like I am on my own now.I had been a fan for 26 years,ever since “badmotorfinger” was released-that hair and that voice-wow! I thought he was the most gorgeous man I had ever seen,and he was still handsome at 52! I also shared the same birthday with Chris-july 20th(me 1974)and for that reason I always felt I could relate to him.his music got me through some tough times in my life,so it absolutely breaks my heart to think of him on his own at the end.I am not religious or anything but I keep trying to tell myself that we live in a wicked world and he has been taken from it to somewhere more kind and peaceful. Keep listening to the music,take care.xx

  26. I have been grieving Chris Cornell’s death. He was a part of my husband’s and my life for over 25 years. He was our favourite singer, and his passing has left us feeling so empty. Today (11 days after he died) was the first day I have listened to his music, and I cried and cried. Thank you for acknowledging that celebrities do play a role in our everyday lives.

    • I am very very saddened my CHRIS CORNELLS DEATH! O my gosh it still has not sunk in. I don’t get it or understand! He was brilliant and well loved by so many. May God take him into his kingdom and hold him and may he find peace and true joy. That singer, songwriter, human being, father, husband… will be dearly dearly missed and many are grieving and totally left confused.

  27. Roger Morres death just recently hit me i am actually cryibg as i write this i felt alone as nobody seemed to care but seeing how many other celebs are effected and reading this makes me ferl bettet

  28. Thank you, thank you for this! I have been stuck on Andy Gibb out of nowhere! Random, I was 7 years old when he died and I am now 46. He struggled with the same addiction I did. I have 13 years sobriety now. I am so sympathetic and empathetic of his disease and what he went through. Based on his last interviews, it seemed he was beginning to see his part in his disease, which was so promising for him. It breaks my heart that the damage done to his heart was so bad from his use, his heart couldn’t fight the virus and continue to live a long life. There is a George Burns show he came on and was telling George how jealous he was of his old age and truly hopes to live as long as he did. 🙁 I also have this intense attraction to him and that is the part I am truly embarrassed of, HE IS DEAD! But, I am so grateful for this post and know that I am not alone when it comes to celebrity deaths.

    I was also devastated when Michael Jackson passed, a true part of my heart and my youth died that day. 🙁 So grateful I was able to be around during his lifetime and enjoy his talent.

  29. Thank you so much for posting this. A year and a half later and I’m still crying over Scott Weiland’s passing.

  30. I cry for Chris Cornell daily now that he passed like he was my best friend or something but that’s probably because his music really got me through hard hard times in life. It was there for me and every word would fit how I was feeling, like a best friend his words helped heal. I was lucky enough to have gotten to see him for his solo songbook tour, up and front center. Let me tell you his voice was so amazing it was like angels filled every aspect of the room. I got to witness him sing acoustic and I can’t get over how unreal he made me feel listening to him. It was like his voice was magical and like black hole sun says, no one will sing like him anymore. He was truly my idiol growing up and now who I looked up to is gone and my heart breaks so much with every passing day of knowing I’ll never get to see his talent again live.

  31. Sandy D HendersonMay 21, 2017 at 2:42 pmReply

    I too have felt deep deep pain over the passing of Chris Cornell. This man was beautiful inside and out, greatest voice ever, a true talent I have followed since his start. To know his heart was so heavy saddens me to no end. I too suffer from depression. To know this great man could feel the way I have felt at times is sobering. RIP Chris Cornell. At least I know its normal to feel so touched by this.

  32. I needed this article. Thank you. I have been a tearful mess since Thursday after learning of Chris Cornell’s passing…I can’t stop thinking about him and his loved ones, or how heavy his heart may have been with the weight of despair for him to end his life…and as I pulled over tonite because I could not see through the tears as his voice came through the speakers of my car, I wondered if I had finally lost it. I mean, yes, he was this amazingly talented man, but I am not this die-hard fan that has been to every performance (none, actually)…but that voice carried me through some intense chapters in my life. That voice let me know, much like this article, that I am not alone in my feelings. And while I do not know how long I will grieve for this amazing man that I never knew, I will make sure that his voice is never forgotten in this home. RIP, Chris. You are in my heart…I hope that you are at peace.

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  34. I have strangely been grieving over the death if Layne Staley and he’s been dead for 15 years. I wasn’t even a year old yet when he killed himself and I think I’m going crazy over a dead man. Sometimes I feel I was born in the wrong era.

    • Feel the same way. Going though the same thing Haley. Freddie Mercury has been gone for 26 years and after reading about his life in biographies, watching interviews and such, my heart feels so heavy. Had to stop youtube-ing Queen videos because it would cause me to feel like I was grieving again and even cry! I was 12 when Queen came on the scene. I think it hurts more when we hear or read of their lives behind the stage. Given a different place and time, they could have been our friend. And that’s what I feel I have lost. A friend. We relate to their human trials and tribulations. I still think of Elvis, John Lennon, David Bowie, Robin Williams, George Micheal, Heath Ledger, Prince. I was sad about the death of Vincent Price too.
      I’m so glad to see more posts! This site is really helpful to me at this particular time in my life.

    • I feel sad about Layne too. He’s my favorite singer of all time. I was only a baby when he died so its kind of different though but I still feel upset I never got to see him in real life. The one that really hit me a few days ago was Chris cornell’s death. It’s the first ever celebrity death that impacted me because I usually I never know about the celebrity until they died but I knew who he was before his death. I loved Chris and his music. He was also one my favorite singers. His songs made me feel like I should be strong and keep going when I went through a depression ‘phase’. Actually I binged listened to sound garden just few days before his death. It feels like he’s still here. But when I look at the stuff that says ‘Chris Cornell died at 52’ it brings me back to a sad moment. What upsets me is how he suddenly died and what caused him to die. I struggled with that and I feel bad he had to go through that and no one knew. Funny..because I always used to be weirded out when people are overly sad over a celebrity’s death like last year there was a handful of deaths but I never knew them or their work so I didn’t really cared. There’s literally not a second that goes by that I still think Chris is here. I never even knew him personally but I still feel for him and his family and friends. It’s devastating and I can’t believe it. I swear I’m not crazy. Haha.

  35. I’m late to commenting on this post. But I stumbled upon it and I needed to read it. I have never been very affected by a celebrity passing. But my gosh, I am an emotional mess over Heath Ledger being gone. I think it’s a combination of many things. Every time I watch one of Heath’s film, I forget about the crap happening around me. He’s such a phenomenal actor. I also relate to him on such a personal level. We seem so much alike and it makes it hard knowing that the one famous person who had such an effect on me is gone. He was absolutely adorable. He’s a complete stranger to me on a personal level, but it’s so weird because I feel like I know him. I’m still grieving the death of my best friend, so also losing him is affecting me to a higher degree. It kills me knowing that he’ll never make another film again. He isn’t here to live his life. Someone so beautiful losing their life by pure accident breaks my heart. I cry so much that it shocks me.

    • I feel the exact same way. I’ve known about his passing ever since it happened, yet suddenly, in the past days, after re-watching 10 things, I cannot seem to stop crying. I’m obsessively reading about his life, watching old videos of interviews, and can’t figure out why on earth I am so sad about his passing. There are moments during the day where I just have to hear his voice, and the thought of how horrible Michelle must have felt when he passed leaves me sobbing each time.

  36. P.S. Now I listen to Queen, David Bowie and George Micheal and Elvis ALL the time!! I can always find Robin Williams and other late comedians on you tube frequently!!!

  37. I remember Queen when I was in High school. His songs We Will Rock You and Another One Bites the Dust were played at our Pep Rally’s. Vaguely remember when he was sick but oddly enough I didn’t know the year he passed. In 1991 I wasn’t aware of much of anything around me. I find in my 50’s I revisit a lot of old songs and old movies. I recently came across all these interviews, documentaries and concerts of these past rock stars and after reading about Freddie Mercury my heart is broken. So I say to myself,”He’s been gone for 26 years and NOW I’m grieving? I find I grieve over celebrities who I have things in common with such as certain disappointments, fears and favorite things. I was devastated over Elvis Presley. Robin Williams death was heart braking too. I was very saddened over David Bowie and George Micheal as well. These are loves from my childhood. Although I never listen to Queen a lot, I listened enough to miss hearing the songs and remember singing and instantly remembering singing at the top of my lungs at our pap rally. Thanks for letting me share. Best wishes to you all.

  38. When Red Skeleton passed I stay in bed a cried all Day, Michael Hutchence INXS Death still breaks my heart. DAVY Jones of The Monkees such grief tore my sister & I held a memorial,Steve McQueen! Still miss him so many and this last year so many will always hold them in my heart!

  39. Hi,
    I have just come across this post shared on a George Michael page on social media. I was one of his biggest fans, some said obsessed (ok I agree there !!) about George michael. Your words absolutely mirror my feelings. My own son has been the one to say i’m weird and strange to mourn a man I never met and yet I grieve in a way I never imagined. As you describe, George was there for me when I felt low and when I felt like dancing. Such a mixture of emotions he would bring out of me. Right now, as I type, while having a 5 min break from taking down my Christmas decorations and tidying round, George would normally be blasting and i’d merrily bop around to a bit of wham or fast love or any of his upbeat songs to keep me motivated. Now I find it hard to put him on without sadness and emptiness. He was the one to bring me out of these holes and now I can’t listen to them to help me, they make me worse. I feel alone and stupid. I found a page on social media, which has grown in thousands since that fateful Christmas Day. We all chat and reminisce and if it wasn’t for that page making me feel so normal I don’t know what I would have done. We are all devastated, some of us at different stages of grief but still grieving. I thank you for this post, which again has helped me feel “normal”. God bless you and thank you for your wise words although about another iconic figure in the music world, still an icon and idol to many, Including a very close friend of mine.
    Thank You x x

  40. Go on, laugh, but I felt quite sad when Ken Barrie died. When I was very little I used to watch the old Postman Pats, and now he’s dead, I feel that I’ve lost my innocence. Thanks for posting this.

  41. For me the hardest Celebrity death was Christina Grimmie. In my opinion she was one of the greatest singers that ever lived, her voice was gorgeous, and she was such a huge talent and only 22 years old. She was also a amazing musician and songwriter and her acting ability in her last four videos released was amazing as well, Not only was her rare talent “Unbelievable” but so was the person behind all that talent. She honestly did LOVE her fans with all her heart, and she had a heart of gold, over 3 million subscribers on You Tube, was on the Voice in 2014 and positively slayed the competition in my opinion. I have never been so heartbroken over a celelbity, because it was such a vicious and cruel murder, that makes it a triple heartbreak. I will never understand how ANYONE can shoot and kill a beautiful young woman with so huge of a talent. It just turns my stomach when I think about it. She was a huge inspiration to me and had a big impact on my life, a impact I will carry with me forever. I will always Love and Miss Christina Grimmie. There was no one else that could hold a candle to her. Deeply missed!!!

  42. I was 13 years old when I discovered Bowie, Hunky Dory was my first album approx 1972. In 1971 I lost my father aged 35 to cancer. I was 13. I spent a lot of time in my room listening to his music, the Velvet Underground also. I always followed him but didn’t necessarily follow his music post 1980. I got married worked had children and was busy. However, he always remained with me over the years and was part of who I am today. When he died I cried but not constantly. In about April realization set in, yes I know it wasn’t instant, that he wouldn’t be around any more. Since then, I find myself overwhelmed with grief, listen to the albums I missed in the 1980s and later and am really struggling now. I feel this is also wrapped up with my fathers death which I don’t recall grieving about just crying when I heard on the stairs. I’m now feeling I need help perhaps over this. I’m 58 and so many years have passed. I watch all David’s videos and listen to his music every day and I cry each day too. Think it’s time to visit my GP. Great to share this with anyone out there who will listen to me.

  43. This was very interesting for me. I am going through what I would call “delayed grief”. When this celebrity passed away almost two years ago, I put away and locked it in my brain because I was in denial about it. About one month ago, I heard a song and it brought it back full force. I’ve been crying for three weeks straight and because I didn’t want to accept it back then, I’m just beginning to read the news reports of his death and yes it has become overwhelming. It hurts so much and this has never happened to me before. I am a little confused by it, but I’ve always been one with a sixth sense of things and strange coincidences and serendipity and all that happening all around me. Sometimes I even wonder if maybe a long time ago when we were both youner, if maybe we met. All I know is I feel him with me, almost like he’s watching over me. And I’ve never had this happen to me and wasn’t sure if I ever believed this could actually happen to anyone. I feel an immense sadness and an emptiness knowing he’s gone. I hope soon the day comes when I can listen to his music and listen to his beautiful, unique, voice and not feel a lump in my throat and a pain so deep, it’s hard to describe. I was feeling very lost and unhappy for awhile now, maybe some higher power sent me this so I could feel that everything is OK because I feel like I have a Guardian Angel now. Thank you for listening.

  44. I am also extremely sad about Anton Yelchin. I have cried a couple times and it has been over two weeks. A celebrity death has never hit me this hard before. I loved Alan Rickman, and I barely batted an eyelash when I found out he had passed away. Anton has taken me down. I feel so awful about how he died, and think about how awful his parents must be feeling. I loved him as Chekov and Kyle Reese. He was an amazingly talented person, and from all accounts, a really nice guy. I have never been this sad about a celebrity death before. Not even when Jonathan Crombie (he played Gilbert Blythe in Anne of Green Gables) died.

  45. One week later, I feel like I am about to lose it over Anton Yelchin. I feel like crying big time.

  46. At 13 years old I lost my father aged 35 to cancer. At around the same time I discovered Bowie, 1972/3. I can’t remember much around his death, it was many years ago. I am 58 now but I do know that I cry almost every day since Bowie died, even more so 5 months down the line. It’s a feeling I can’t explain but comes from my very core and is extremely painful, so much so that I feel the time has come to seek help via my GP. Has anyone else experienced such emotion?

    • Louise, this is something we have heard from others and I think the connection between Bowie and the time around your dad’s death that you make is important. Because these emotions have continued for many months, it may be helpful to contact a counselor or therapist you can meet with, even if just for a few visits to discuss what you have been going though.

    • You are far from alone. Bowie had some relevance in almost everything growing up and as an adult as well. It’s like the universe is playing 6 degrees of David Bowie. Everything links to him and I mourn daily. I try to think how lucky I to live when Lennon,Warhol, Lou Reed, Kurt Cobain and numerous other musicians however I cannot get past the thought that every day I will feel like something’s missing. I’m not ready to live in a world without him. I feel some days like Major Toms wife waiting for him to come home. Iggy is the only one left of that intimate triangle. May the powers keep him this side of the grave for more years to come.

  47. I feel the same way about Anton Yelchin right now. He wasn’t that much older than me. He was just an 11 year old boy when I was born, so to see him go so soon and that young and in such a horrible way really hits home and hurts. Not to mention he was one of my first crushes when I started liking boys (people) as a girl with his role of Chekov in Star Trek. Star Trek is one of the few beautiful memories I have of my dad and I before my step brother was born. I miss Anton so bad and even if I wasn’t personal with him or I never saw all of his movies, I have many good memories of him and it sucks I’m getting much more into him now that he’s gone.

    • Ah I am so sorry Addie. I am sure the fact that he is connected to those memories with your dad too only makes it more difficult. Though I am sure it is bittersweet learning even more about him and getting more into him now that he is gone, that is exactly what will keep his memory and legacy alive for you and in the world in general. Take care.

      • Litsa, thank you so much for your advice. It really helped me, considering you’re the only one that actually took me seriously (my own mother said it was ridiculous if I didn’t even know him) but you are right, that is the only way his legacy and memory will live on in my heart. I have decided to dedicate my photography ambition to him since he also was a photographer and he had this talent to turn people into art when he took pictures of them. Thank you so much Litsa, deep from my heart I’m very thankful. My best wishes for you and your loved ones.
        Love,
        Addie xx

        • That is a beautiful gesture, Addie! I am sorry you didn’t get the support you needed from your mom. It can be hard for others to understand what we are going through, especially if it isn’t something they have experienced themselves. We have a whole section on this site about grief and photography, so you may want to check that out if you are a photographer! Take care.

  48. Anton Yelchin’s is the only celebrity death that has made me cry so far. I am honestly struggling to believe he is gone, and I can’t imagine he will no longer appear in movies… He was by far one of my favorite actors and all his movies connected with me in some way… Really wish he was not taken from this Earth.

    • Kelly, I just heard about his death this morning. What an incredible tragedy. It is unbelievable how deeply celebrity deaths can touch us. I do hope that perhaps the one small thing that will come from his death is others taking vehicle safety recalls seriously to prevent further injuries and deaths.

  49. I don’t think I have gone one single day since Michaels death in 2009 without crying. I love him more than anything and it cuts like a knife every single day that he is gone. I sound really dramatic, but I am literally feeling depressed because of his passing, and it was almost 7 years ago.

    • Josephine, I understand exactly how you feel. I recently discovered that a celebrity I admired greatly had passed. I fell into a deep state of depression and have felt tremendous grief. It’s amazing how people we have never met can have such an impact on our lives. I think that we see them for the beautiful human beings that they truly are, and spiritual we become connected to them. I feel blessed to have found this website today. My soul has been grieving. I have reached out to friends trying to find comfort, but no-one has really cared or understood how I felt. Reading the comments on this site has given me peace and comfort. Please feel free to contact me if you need a friend.

  50. I’m beside myself over Prince’s death, my sister and best friend and I grew up on his music and Bowie’s. To me this is the second coming of the day the music died.

  51. Dan Fogelberg’s death hit me hard. His music got me through college after my Dad died in the beginning of my sophomore year.

  52. It has gone almost 7 years, and I still cry myself to sleep pretty much every single night because I miss Michael Jackson so much

    • I am a die-hard Michael Jackson fan. I feel like I connect to him, his loneliness, his childhood and his dreams. I talk to him every night and admire the posters of him I have on my wall. Listening to his music & watching his short films is a daily routine for me and I feel guilty if I don’t do it everyday. On August 29th I always celebrate his birthday in multiple ways but on June 25th I refuse to get out of bed and all I do all day is sob over his passing. Each year it never changes, it feels like it’s happening all over again every time June 25th comes around. Whenever a sad song comes on whether it’s one of Michael’s songs or another artists, I cry because it makes me think about him. My parents sometimes worry about my grief for him because it’s been going on for so long but it’s just the fact that I love him too much to accept he’s gone & that I’ll never see him live in concert ever again. I consider him as my guardian angel, sometimes it seems like he’s looking down over me and protecting me. It brings a sense of comfort that he’s still here with me.

  53. shakeandcrawl, that is a great point. That is why family relationships are of then the hardest. We have so much history and we see all sides of family, but only the polished performances of artists.

  54. I think there are “celebrities” and there are “artists.” Artists touch a part of our soul with their art. Isn’t that the purpose? They forever alter us in some small or large way. They hold up a mirror to us, show us our humanity, our pain, our joy, our stories. I believe that when an artist dies, we feel moved by not only their life, but it tugs at the places they touched in us. Asks us to remember, to be moved, to feel again those tender places, sometimes re-live the moments they originally altered. Sometimes that is great pain, great transformational moments. That is how I feel, at least, when someone who moved me deeply passes.

  55. Freddie Mercury and John Lennon deaths affected me deeply. Both were amazing, talented and peaceful men.

  56. Although I felt sad about David Bowie (I realized I expected he’d live to a wizened 95), the one death that caught me totally by surprise was George Harrison. I knew there were people I deeply admired and whose death would affect me greatly – for example, Fred Rogers or Philip Seymour Hoffman (I cried for days when they died) – I had no CLUE that I had a huge attachment to George Harrison. When I started to cry and cry about him, I thought ” Whoa! What’s THAT about?” (Turns out I thought he was once of those very famous people who truly seemed rather humble and decent.) It’s definitely true that these strangers encapsulate qualities that are important to us and symbolize what is personally dear to us.

    • Susan, thank you for posting your comment. I’ve been grieving over a celebrity’s death for the last couple of weeks. I could not understand why the grieve over someone I never knew could be so deep. Your comments helped to answer my question. Your insight was comforting. Thank you!

  57. ….for me it was looseing john lennon at age 13….it hit me like atruck and even my mun said sorry i know how you feel and i put that along side her looseing her parents…sometimes i wonder how the greif for a person who you have never met can be so strong….i guess some spirits are so powertfull they can reach out over the water ..the airwaves …and the mind….some spirits are eternall and for ever……

    • Audrey, thank you so much for posting your comment. Your words had a profound impact upon me. Your words set me free. I needed a spiritual answer and you gave me one. Thank you so much for posting! Thank you!

  58. A great, thoughtful post, thanks. I was more of a casual listener of David Bowie myself but a few friends are huge fans and it has helped them. Someone somewhere else raised another really interesting point about how we can sometimes feel the loss of a celebrity or a stranger most acutely because our relationships are one-way and lack the conditionality and complexity of our everyday relationships: as they put it, we can feel sadder about David Bowie dying than our own relatives because we’ve never had to deal with David Bowie when he was grumpy/stressed/annoying, and David Bowie hasn’t said difficult or hurtful things to us for our whole lives. A counsellor told me something similar when I was 18/19 , yet to go by some of the callous reactions to people’s feelings in recent years, it’s something a lot of older people haven’t really grasped…

  59. David Bowie…. It was hard to hear of his death and I am still extremely sad. I was shocked that it hit me so hard.

    I have been a huge fan for decades. As the article said it helped me get through some rough patches as a teenager. I would come home from school and listen to records for hours and read all about him. I was crazy about the image of David Bowie and his voice and music. He touched my soul and because he never knew me it is someone that could never abandon me but now I feel abandoned. Now he is dead just like my husband who died young from cancer. I am also caring for my mother with cancer.

    I do not know how to find any joy anymore in life. My life has switched to one of just trying to survive as I am taking care of my mom and a small child.

    David Bowie always seem so brave always reinventing himself but yet I always feel so afraid and stuck not sure how to take care of others while taking care of myself. When you are left with nothing and have a young child to support life is extremely lonely.

    The two things in life that always put me to Joy was watching David live in concert and having my husband by my side and now both are gone.

    I had hoped that I could find love but it has only brought me deep pain. With my mother’s cancer came her hatred of me and I do not have anyone else.

    I cannot afford to go out so I do not have any friends anymore.

    Have any of you found a way to find some joy again after the death of those you most love and how to cope with living with somebody with cancer that spews hatred for you?

    I despise getting older I don’t mind the change of looks if I had a husband by my side but when you get older no one wants to date you anymore especially when you have a young child and everything just hurts and the weight and feeling of dullness and no drive just comes on the matter what you do.

    I think his death or reminds us of aging. We lose our vitality. Then we just die.

    Once you hit 40 your life changes. At that age you just lose all joy out of your life and as a woman you just feel flat all the time and your drive for everything just goes.

  60. I also was very affected by Robin Williams. At the time, my daughter, Laura was struggling with depression, and I thought, if Robin W. can’t get the proper help or find peace, with all the resources he has, what is the hope for my sweet, struggling girl? Depression contributed to my losing her, she just didn’t care enough to take care of herself. Celebrities become a part of our lives. Great article, as always, thank you Litsa & Eleanor!

  61. John Lennon was my biggest loss, the thought that some sick person killed him shocked me. He was (is) a hero to me, his song ” Imange” should be our national anthem. He was kind and gentle and the lyrics of almost all of his and the Beatles songs were peaceful and fun to listen to always. They band showed love and they remained friends and family to each other, even when things changed, they supported each other also. I think that they lived in a time when drugs were used some ignorant uptight people did not like or approve of them. They were spiritual also. If people realize that alcohol has been at the root of murder, domestic violence, child abuse etc and the drugs that were used during the 60’s did not hurt anyone, like oh yeah I was drunk when I got in the accident that killed 4 people,Don’t hear those stories of marijuana or even l.s.d.- opium, alcohol, moon shine and heroine have been around for centuries… Wealthy women used to go to opium dens in the 1800’s. I am a licensed counselor and realize that cocaine, speed and other weird concoctions are harmful, and addictive( which is an illness like alcoholism). But most drugs used are possibly mind altering but alcohol blackouts have bee responsible for more deaths for centuries. I spent many years as both nurse and counselor and worked in prisons also. So I think I have a wide view of the good and bad things have been incarcerated for… And it is not the old ” hippie drugs” that have killed so many. If someone gets a Dui in most states the law is so lax, but there are others in prison for possession of small amounts of pot. Plus for some illness it is very therapeutic .

  62. Great quote by Dean! I can especially relate to the “losing your youth.” The 1960’s were a time that was very intense. Some of us naïvely thought we were going to change the world. As my health problems increase and my mobility lessens, and poverty is just never ending, it is a bit scary seeing those who are about 25-30 yrs older than me- people I looked to for guidance, inspiration- die. The younger generation, at least the ones I associate with, seem to lack genuine tolerance, respect, and the ability to carry on an interesting conversation. And values I hold dear are softly mocked as “antiquated.” Some days, irrationally, it seems as if I am getting lonelier by attrition.

  63. My husband, Jim, died at age 62 from cancer. So when I read the obituaries or learn of a death like David Bowie, I always think, he lived 7 more years than Jim. And Jim would be 68 now and still with me. Or I think, this person was only 48, wow, how tragic. We are blessed to have had him in our lives til 62. Seems kind of silly when I write about it down,

  64. I liked your comment at the end of the post ie how lucky we were to be around at the same time as one of our celebrities
    I’m grieving the loss of my 21 year old son from SADS just over a year ago
    I feel privaledged that I had him as my son for that time.

    As a mother I cannot, will not and don’t feel I have to LET GO of him.

    I have devoured books over the last year on connecting with my son and understanding, as far as my mind can allow although my heart is better at it, of where he is right now

    My immediate reaction to David Bowies death, other than understanding what really is going on behind this tabloid headlines etc for his family but that my son would meet him and that there was someone else in heaven, or whatever we choose to call the realm where he now is, that is with Matt. How exciting for him and for me to know.
    In fact we lost someone else this New year a 22 year old boy, which reignited the heat on the burning fire of my every day, I had the same thought of Matt greeting him

    So a different take but nonetheless one of the thoughts I had

    Thank you

    Your site is just amazing and such a great help to me

    Debbie

  65. These are so well written. Love the creativity and humor. You have great talent. Thank you.

  66. I could care less. I have no energy left over to care about someone who I can’t name a single song he ever sang and when I was living in an orphanage a David Bowie look-alike came to visit us as part of their public image/charity events they would do every holiday that I was there.
    It was as if they thought letting us see all these “celebrities” and their look alikes would replace the loss of family, which I never had in the first place. Or didn’t until I met the one person in my life who ended up brutally murdered 16 years after I met him.
    I never believed any of the local celebrities or businesses cared about me as a person; how could they when they didn’t know me and most didn’t want to? I always thought it was like Little Orphan Annie and Daddy Warbucks, that they were doing it for their public image. Later I decided it was a great way to write it off on their taxes. When we went to the Coca Cola company, which was right next to the Children’s Home, I figured they wrote it off on their taxes, all the free gifts that just also all happened to be Coca Cola products. I got a jigsaw puzzle that I still have. When we went to a party where the Cincinnati Bengals of 1985 appeared, we all got gifts that were related to the Bengals. Tell me that doesn’t at least SOUND as if it was for the image as much as they wanted to be there. And some people like the PRINCE look-alike never even showed up four different times after he promised he’d come. The David Bowie look-alike made it clear to us how much he couldn’t stand the Prince look-alike for telling us four different times he’d show up and every time not making an appearance. That’s the only reason I ever decided to like the real David Bowie but I never investigate it; I didn’t go find out what songs he sings. I just liked him via what a person who looked like him said and that’s an awfully tenuous connection.
    It’s more likely that I’m so consumed with energy dealing with my life these days I feel as if I have nothing left over to give to anything else.

  67. I was hardest hit (and surprised) by my grief over the death of Robin Williams. How could a man who made us laugh so hard also make us cry. What sadness and what a great loss.

    • I agree and now the prince of death just has me in this awkward sad and unpeaceful state. He represents all of my 80s nostalgia as a baby girl. The sound of his music inspired me to be an entertainer. Im 26 now looking to relocate to fullfill those goals and I must say that this one hurts and hit me the hardest. The King of Pop (I loved moonwalker) and The Preacher’s Wife, and Purple Rain. The grief is so sad great and I pray that I am relieved of my grief.

  68. Thank you for posting this. It is spot on.

    • I’m a huge fan of george micheal & when the news broke of his death,it hit me pretty hard,I was in such disbelief that I cried,nothing has ever affected my life so much as his passing.I have now accepted that he has gone but he will always be a part of my life

  69. My husband was a huge fan of David Bowie, he died from cancer in August 2015, had he been alive at the time of Bowie’s death, he would have rang me many times throughout Monday, and we would have had lots of memories of his concerts and his music to talk about, I still feel empty and sad because I cannot share these memories with him.

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