It’s Okay to be Upset when a Celebrity Dies

Whenever a celebrity dies, people who aren’t directly family & friends will mourn. Sometimes others will criticize the mourners because they have never met the celebrity, but does that actually matter? No, it doesn’t.

By definition, a celebrity is someone who is widely known and admired by millions of people, the vast majority of which have, in all likelihood, never met the celebrity in person. Actors, singers, athletes, authors, artists or others in the public view, whose work changes a people’s world view or their own sense of self, create a mental and emotional connection with the people that they affect. The more profoundly the people are affected, the greater the mental and emotional connection can become. In other words, the people affected become fans and admirers to varying degrees.

Thus, when a celebrity dies, the fans and admirers that have been affected by the celebrity are going to sad and upset because the celebrity, while not intending to do so, has become a part of the lives of their fans and admirers. In the case of an actor who has portrayed a character that is loved by millions, the actor’s death is like their beloved character dying too and it hurts.

Why are are we posting this? Because a significant number of high-profile celebrities in the science fiction & fantasy genres died this year and it has affected millions of fans & admirers and we want all those fans & admirers to know that it’s okay to mourn their loss.

You connected with a celebrity, their work or what they stood for and when the celebrity died, it probably felt like part of you died too. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to mourn the loss. Death happens and is ultimately unavoidable for everyone. If a celebrity you admired died this year, don’t be ashamed if it upset you. You are human and you are allowed to hurt when someone that was part of your life has died, even if you had never met them in person. Remember that others were hurt too and that the deceased celebrity’s work will always be part of you, which will never change, and it will continue to impact people who haven’t even been born yet.

We know. We’ve been upset multiple times in 2016 when celebrities that we admired died. It’s been a tough year and Carrie Fisher’s death 2 days after Christmas was (for us at least) deeply upsetting. Other deaths that also greatly upset us were David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Kenny Baker, Gene Wilder and others. 2015 wasn’t easy either with the loss of Leonard Nimoy & Christopher Lee, nor was 2014 with the loss of Robin Williams.


Thanks to, who inspired our own blog post:

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