Real Talk

On Celebrity Deaths: We

May Not Know Each

Other But Thank You

by Inside Manila Contributor, July 23, 2019 11:15am

Art by Ahl Mirambel

Real Talk

On Celebrity Deaths: We May Not Know Each Other But Thank You

by Inside Manila Contributor, July 23, 2019 11:15am
Art by Ahl Mirambel
 

Goodbyes are never easy, especially when you don’t know how long it’ll take before you meet again. It’s even harder when you know it’s the last—when it’s more than a goodbye. It’s a loss. It’s only natural when we grieve over the people we know on a personal level. It’s because we won’t be able to share the same moments with them. It’s the last interaction, the final conversation, the last laugh, the last hellos, and goodbyes. But how about for those we haven’t really interacted with?

The recent passing of Disney star, Cameron Boyce, took the world by shock, particularly those who grew up watching him in their favorite Disney series. Specifically, he played as Luke Ross on Jessie, Carlos on Descendants, and alongside Adam Sandler in Grown Ups. Fans of the young star took to Twitter to grieve about his passing as Cameron was a familiar face for them growing up and whose death was so unexpected. His fans talked about how they’d miss watching him on television and how he played a significant role in their lives.

 
 
 
 
 
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Looking through the tweets reminded us about how, at one point of our lives at least, have grieved over a celebrity’s death. At the corner of our minds, we get a little bit self-conscious when we catch ourselves crying and breaking down over the death of someone that’s basically a stranger. It’s a surreal experience grieving over someone that probably didn’t know we existed. The feelings are beyond “Aw, that’s unfortunate” moments. It’s personal. It’s the kind of pain we feel in our gut. 

The truth of the matter: it’s completely valid to feel sad when a celebrity passes away. Sure, the celebs may not have known you or talked to you, but they did make the art you connected with. Maybe this was through a role in a movie that you resonate with or a song they’d written that you, till this day, listen to when things get a little rough. When we think of the celebrities we admire (especially the young ones), we think of the times they made us laugh, cry, or bring about changes in this world, now, their passing. Their lives will now just be stories to tell. We will lie with unsettling feeling within us that there was so much more the world had left to see of them. 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Freddie Mercury (@mercury_motg) on

For some fans, they connected with the celebrities based on the lives they lived, the good and the bad. It felt comforting knowing that we weren’t alone and if our favorite celebrities could do it, we could too. When we think of Freddie Mercury, we think of an icon who inspired millions with his voice, his unique style and character, his creative process, his stage presence, his battle with AIDS, and so on. Moreover, we think of someone who lived his best life with no regrets, and died, leaving a mark in the music industry and people’s lives. It’s been years, but fans still mourn his death because when a celebrity dies, it’s like their art died with them.

There will never be another Robin Williams, or another Amy Winehouse singing us into a jazz bliss. Fast and Furious will never be the same without Paul Walker, and Glee isn’t Glee without Cory Monteith. These celebrities (and more) were some of the people we aspired to be like when we grow up or people we swore we’d one day get to meet, but that possibility is gone along with them.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by History of Cinema (@historyofcinema) on

When a celebrity passes, we mourn because it’s an instant reminder that although their works of art, music, or political action may run the test of time, there’s still this deep sense of loss that they will never create anything new. Most of all, the passing of these celebrities remind us of our own mortality. And it reminds us that these celebrities are humans too. Take away all the fame and fortune, and they’re just like us. Death is inevitable for us all so we must be grateful for the lives that we have and live every day with purpose. 

There is no wrong or right way of grieving the loss of celebrity and it’s normal to do so for a list of reasons. Some are stated above, but the most understandable one is death is sad. You’re allowed to grieve over someone that made an impact to you regardless if you met them in person on screen. If it all gets overwhelming, you can opt to get off social media for a while; just because some people find comfort in talking about it, doesn’t mean you have to.

You could also try revisiting some of their old works and allow yourself to celebrate their life through their art. Bottomline: a loss is still a loss so do whatever you need to do to get past it. But remember, they may have passed, but their legacy lives on. And you’re a living testament to their greatness.


Written by Manisha Mirchandani for Inside Manila.

 

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