Saturday, 23 April 2016
Yes, I know. 2016. What a shit. So many celebrity deaths so far.
You may be tempted, as are many others, to dismiss people posting their own emotional response to the death of somebody they hardly knew as attention grabbing bollocks and you know what? In most cases I believe you would be right to do it.
BUT, we Brits live in a fucked up society in many ways and one of those ways is that do not discuss, encourage or even admit the existence of grief. We have become a society that allows “a couple of weeks off work” for the loss of someone very, very dear to you. It’s a sort of emotional sickness and I’m not sure what we can really do about it.
Here’s the thing about celebrity deaths, though – it is one of the only ways that the media is comfortable in encouraging the grieving process. It is exploitative and often intrusive but it is a way of sharing the experience with others.
I have seen very often people who say they are having trouble stopping grieving a particular loss only for it to have triggered the sensation of a previous – perhaps more profound – loss. Someone can very easily slip into denial over the loss of a family member, friend or partner only to find the later experience (maybe years later) of losing a distant relative or a pet or a celebrity deeply and genuinely affecting.
I’m not suggesting that every attention seeking post on social media is “worthy of your sympathy” because that’s not true and sympathy wouldn’t help them if it were. I would like to suggest, however, that there will be some – possibly several in your group of Facebook friends – who actually are working through something and those few should hopefully convince you to offer some empathy across the board.
Taking the piss a bit out of a grief-junkie can be funny and I can also see that somebody’s indulgent behaviour about celebrity death might be upsetting you about your own suppressed grief but … and this is very important … please keep it civil and respectful.
I can see 2016 getting worse as a number of factors combine to change the way we look at life, death and fame. There will probably be more celebrity deaths, and if so there will certainly be more whining and showboating from arseholes but alongside that there will be people using these deaths as a way to mourn their own losses.
I mean, you don’t have to listen to me. Do what you need to. It’s just, if some weird behaviour happens, this could explain it. I hope it helps.
Thanks for reading.