Why Celebrity Deaths Affect Us And How To Deal With The Grief

The sudden demise of singer KK has reminded us how hard celebrity deaths can hit us. Mental health experts talk about dealing with the grief.

We don’t actually know them, but we really feel we all know them sufficient to grieve once they depart. Such is the facility of celebrities, and the artistry of artwork itself.

You really feel so deeply related {that a} celebrity death can tug at your heartstrings as a lot as–or much more–than when chances are you’ll lose a relative, friend or acquaintance. Tears of grief rolled down the cheeks of fellow scribes as they sat all the way down to pen tributes to singer KK, whose sudden death on Tuesday night, left a vacuum in 1,000,000 hearts. As they wrote, their earphones jammed with a playlist of his versatile singing.

It jogged my memory of a lovely and poignant tweet {that a} friend wrote when ‘Disco King’ Bappi Lahiri handed away earlier this year. “Mourning is a celebration,” she wrote, sharing her little method of coping with a celeb demise.

Why do celebrity deaths feel personal?

This year, we’ve already seen far too many. As Armaan Malik places it, 2022 is a “black year for Indian music”. The demise of Lata Mangeshkar, India’s ‘Nightingale’, was adopted by Bappi da, after which Santoor maestro Shiv Kumar Sharma. Now inside every week, we’ve lost Punjabi singer Sidhu Moose Wala to a daylight homicide, and KK to a cardiac arrest.

The depression is as actual as in a few of KK’s songs: “Hum rahe na rahe kal… yaad aayenge ye pal”. Or Bappi da’s “Kabhi alvida naa kehna”. And even Lata Mangeshkar’s “Rahein na rahein hum”.

Ever puzzled why we really feel so deeply moved when celebrities die? You don’t have a personal reference to them, and but their loss feels so personal. Isn’t it?

Experts say it’s pure for individuals to react the best way they do contemplating the attachment they develop with celebrities – be it with a movie star, a singer, dancer, a sports activities star or perhaps a politician. Plus, it shakes us and wakes as much as the cruel but sincere actuality concerning the fragility of life. It’s like a reminder to dwell your each current second like your final one.

Eminent psychiatrist Dr Samir Parikh tells us {that a} celebrity’s  nature and nature of work play a big position within the direct or oblique impression that their demise may have on individuals.

Why do we feel grief when a celebrity dies?

Grief, he says, is solely about attachment. Which is why it feels so personal.

“It is about relatedness, and almost like an extension of your being. It’s similar to the what you may feel with the loss of a family member, because it is a loss related to memories and moments (related to movies, songs, matches or milestones). It is about adulation and admiration,” explains Dr Parikh, Director of the Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare.

According to medical psychologist and psychotherapist Narendra Kinger, “We identify with celebrities as they are in the public eye, and the familiarity makes us believe that they are close to us. The psychological identification and the physical ‘virtual’ familiarity make us partake in their daily life as if they were an extension of our ‘real selves’. Hence, when a celebrity dies, we feel as if someone close to us has died, and so we mourn.”

The feeling was acquainted for a lot of when Rajesh Khanna, Sridevi, Irrfan Khan and Rishi Kapoor handed away. Their death left a lump within the throat– not simply because they have been stars, however as a result of their wealthy body of work touched the precise chords. Irrfan Khan’s death in 2020 continues to evoke feelings.

Forget nearer house, even the demise of Princess Diana, singing stars Michael Jackson and Amy Winehouse, basketball star Kobe Bryant, and cricketers Shane Warne and Andrew Symonds extra lately amongst a number of others, hit us laborious.

What is the psychology behind mourning a celebrity’s death?

“The psychological principle is of ‘identification’ and ‘internalization’,” defined Kinger, the founding father of Talk to Me. By that, he signifies that these well-liked personalities grow to be part of our personalities and life. And due to this fact, even our reactions are a results of how we are inclined to make them part of “our reality”, regardless of “not being a part of their reality”.

Nevertheless, one can’t ignore how the media blitz and bombardment, social media hype, in addition to the 24-hour ‘breaking news’ cycle, spurs a way of extra attachment. The attachment feels deeper.

“In the boredom and routine of our own lives, it is common for the common person to be impacted. To come to terms, we need to get more out of our own lives than be invested in them. We have to be aware of our own reality,” Kinger tells us.

Sometimes, followers’ response to their idol’s death may be excessive.

“The possible extremes to celebrity deaths which we have witnessed in the past are self-immolation, self-harm, attempts to commit or suicides, etc,” Kinger mentioned.

He ain’t bluffing. As per information experiences, a 19-year-old fan of the late singer Sidhu Moose Wala tried to commit suicide by consuming phenyl. The 28-year-old Punjabi singer had a large fan following.

Does the nature of celebrity deaths impact the way people react?

It makes us surprise if the character of a celeb deaths additionally performs a job in the best way individuals react? Think of the disbelief and shock over the information of Sushant Singh Rajput’s death . Or even when Siddharth Shukla died of a heart attack.

Dr Parikh agrees that the character of death instills a special kind of a thought course of in an individual who could also be a fan of a celeb.

But it must be understood that grief is an emotion that folks really feel relying on the “dynamics of their attachment” – be it when somebody dies nearer house, or within the celeb-verse. So, an older era particular person could not grieve for a Sidhu Moose Wala as she or he would for a Bappi Lahiri. But there could also be concern and sympathy for the best way the 28-year-old Punjabi icon died – with a bombardment of bullets.

How to get over celebrity deaths?

Well, nothing beats speaking about it in terms of dealing with the grief of a celebrity death! Mourning is a celebration, didn’t my friend say it?

Dr Parikh agrees. “Talking to people who feel a similar way, who are able to identify with how you feel, is the best way to deal with the loss of a celebrity. Celebrate how they have touched your lives with memories and moments.”

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