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Do everyday people have the right to mourn celebrity deaths?

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There are some moments in my life where no matter how much time passes, I know I will never forget them. As years pass, many mundane memories will turn yellow with the decay of forgetfulness. Some moments of personal significancelike important birthdays, the day you get accepted into college, or losing a friend or a family memberwill stay with people because they are such salient milestones.

Other days that aren’t common hallmarks of the human journey stay with people for unexplainable reasons. For me, this was the death of the singer Whitney Houston. Now, no insult to the great Mrs. Houston, but at the ripe age of ten years old, she didn’t mean all that much to me. The real reason her passing is still so instilled into my brain is because of the situation surrounding it.

My family was at a friend’s cottage over a particularly frigid winter weekend when we learned the news. I vividly remember all the adults looking visibly upset and the entire group of people huddled around the TV, watching multiple specials on her death and many memorials of her illustrious career.

That was the first celebrity death that I can really remember; but since February of 2012, there have been many other notable figures that the world has lost. Last year alone, President George H.W. and Nancy Bush, Stan Lee, Stephen Hawking, and countless others died.

And with all of these deaths came a slew of public responses. Twitter eulogies. Pictures on Instagram and Facebook. Dozens of blogs and articles. The general public constantly pours out support whenever a celebrity passes away. And a very high percentage of these people have never met the person they’re actually mourning.

Are these reactions and emotions warranted? Some people, of a more cynical nature, would say that they aren’t. Why get all worked up over people you don’t even know? They wouldn’t mourn you, so why should you mourn them?

Why get all worked up over people you don’t even know? They wouldn’t mourn you so why should you mourn them? ”

In my opinion, I don’t think it’s the actual person that people miss as much as it is the memories we hold to them. When a great actor or actress dies, people bring up their film history and reflect back on the times they watched all those movies. Or when a famous singer keels over, their greatest hits flood over the radio and people are transported back to when those songs were originally popular.

We mourn the sentimental value that people have and how that value shapes our more ordinary lives.

Additionally, not many people get the chance to live grand lives full of fame. So subconsciously, I think people like to live out their wildest fantasies through real celebrities. People will identify and see themselves in an A-lister, which makes it all the harder on them when that person passes away.

So while celebrities may never know what they mean to every person, that doesn’t change the fact that their passing can stir up a large number of emotions in people, emotions that come from valid places.

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About the Writer
Meredith VanSkiver, Staff Writer

Meredith VanSkiver is a junior entering her first year on staff, and she could not be more excited about it. In addition to The Central Trend, she is...

1 Comment

One Response to “Do everyday people have the right to mourn celebrity deaths?”

  1. Vicki Serwick on April 11th, 2019 3:19 pm

    Another great article

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Do everyday people have the right to mourn celebrity deaths?