There is no right way to grieve. It is ok to feel immense sadness.

One of the most common questions clients ask our grief counselors is, “Is it normal for me to feel this way?”  It is a fairly common question to ask when coping with death – it is as if there is a battle between our minds (“What I should feel”) and our hearts (“But I feel this way”).  There are some losses that lend themselves to this struggle because of the nature of the loss itself.  Once such loss is the death of a celebrity.

Most people have never met the celebrity they are grieving.  It would be easy for someone to ask, “Why do you feel like you do if you have never met the person?”  It is always far too easy for those not grieving to judge another person’s experience of grief.

When a celebrity dies, you are grieving the loss of what that person meant to you, a very subjective experience.  A personal experience.  A connection on some level.  It can be a deeply emotional experience, the power of which might be unexpected and therefore underestimated.  Mourning the loss of what a celebrity meant to you is a legitimate and normal grief reaction.

Grief is expressed through mourning, and it is OK to mourn the loss of someone you have never met, such as a celebrity.  Let yourself cry.  Talk to others you know who were fans of the person.  Make a donation to a cause supported by the celebrity.  Post your experience on social media.   Post pictures of the celebrity as a tribute.  Post a comment on the person’s website.  Anything that helps you outwardly express your grief is a way of mourning your loss and will help lead you on your path of healing. These grief experiences can often times allow us to appreciate our loved ones and even act as a catalyst to prioritize our future to focus on what matters most, our faith and family.

To learn more about Cornerstone of Hope’s Grief Counseling and Support Group services, click here:

Patrick Milloy, LPCC-S

Clinical Director for Cornerstone of Hope’s Cleveland Location