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Celebrity Death and Mourning

Celebrity Death and Mourning

For anyone paying attention to the news this past year, you would be forgiven in thinking that 2016 is one of the worst years ever for celebrity deaths. David Bowie, Glen Frey, Victoria Wood, Ronnie Corbett, and Prince to name but a few of the household names which have shuffled off their mortal coils in the first four months of 2016.

As a fan of many of these fine performers, I am left with a sense of the inevitable end to all of our existences. There is acceptance tinged with a little sadness, but the key here is acceptance.

If one watches the news we see a tremendous out pouring of grief from fans feeling as though they have lost a personal friend or family member. This is of course not a new phenomena, for those old enough to remember, the deaths of John F Kennedy or Elvis Presley will surely remember the outpouring of grief and sadness for a lost innocence.

In more modern times most of us will remember the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and the huge global outpouring of sorrow and grief. As a psychotherapist, I am interested in the process of this type of grief. It’s true that many people feel a personal connection with these lost celebrities as if it were a close friend, but I cannot help but wonder if these people are being used as a means for some to process grief nearer to home which perhaps they felt ill equipped to deal with at the time. Just something to think about.

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