As my work is now surrounded in a world of dying, death and
bereavement it is interesting to see the reaction of the death of the legend, Shane Warne. It also interesting to see the questions of “why am I grieving the death of someone I don’t even know” or “why the big deal for a celebrity, I lost my……and no big deal was made”. I understand both these reactions, however, I’ll explain the first which will hopefully put some perspective for the second.
“Some perspective”. Not easing anyone’s grief being more or less deserved. Grief is grief. There is no comparison. A heart is broken. A heart takes time to heal, or repair, to help live life differently without the person in our life that we have just lost.
A celebrity. A person who we may have grown up with, been inspired by, influenced or aspired to. Their music. Their art. Their inspirational influence. Their generosity. Their spin bowl!
We didn’t know the person but our life had an impact. We loved tuning in to their socials, we found we connected with their persona so much. We listened to their words or acts of inspiration. We felt great at the clothes we bought from that designer or the sports coaching we were going to provide our kids after watching they’re guidance on YouTube. We are led by Sunday services by a great man some could only dream of attending to be present or, getting the family ready for another kind of Sunday pilgrimage at the “G” because our hero will be going for his 700th wicket. We’ve created memories or daily habits with that person in our lives.
These were the hero’s we looked up to. These are the people we didn’t know personally but they impacted our lives. These are the people that even though we didn’t know them, we allowed our hearts to be led by and connected so well with. Some of these celebrities are the lives we wish we could have and lived our dreams and fantasies through them. They created our escapism from our own perhaps stressful life, our depression to turn on that tv and have a laugh or throw on that music to reminisce that dance we had we a person we once held.
Grieving for a celebrity is therefore losing a time in your life, a piece of your youth, your growth. It’s a genuine connection you feel you have lost.
Our loved one’s passing have (HAVE) a similar impact, however, they were our reality. They were our dreams come true (that the celebrity may have contributed to). They were the one we danced with on our wedding day by the celebrity we both enjoyed. They personally picked us up when we made mistakes. They encouraged us, they protected us. They loved us. They shared the memories when you went to that celebrity’s concert or that 100th goal kicked. They may not have impacted the world but they impacted your world and in your world is where you continue your loved one’s legacy.
Grief is Grief. A celebrity or a loved one leaves their own legacy and impact on each and every individual differently. Don’t ignore your grief or belittle anyone else’s. The impact may be greater than you think.
RIP to all who left this world.