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Young Adults and Addiction: The Benefits of Inpatient Care

For many young people, drug use and experimentation is a rite of passage of sorts. However, experimenting with drugs and alcohol is far from harmless, and can often result in lifelong...

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Our Grieving Experts

Dr. Therese Rando

Dr. Therese Rando

Psychologist, grief specialist and author of How to Go on...

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David Kessler

David Kessler

Journalist, author and motivational speaker

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Helen Fitzgerald

Helen Fitzgerald

Certified death educator, author and lecturer

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I Don't Know You...

I Don't Know You...

The specific instance varies from person to person, but most of us have felt it. When a family member passes, you experience emotions of losing someone you’ve known your whole life—but there is an uncertainty and confusion when grieving over the death of a celebrity or other well-known public figure.

How would you describe your relationship with this individual? Well, most likely, you’ve never met. This person didn’t even know you existed, but you feel like you’ve known him or her for years.

Scenario #1: You saw every movie on the day it was released and read every article about him in all the magazines. And you, along with millions of other teens and young adults around the world, were devastated over the loss of Heath Ledger in January.

Or #2: You spent Sunday mornings together with Tim Russert and NBC’s “Meet the Press” since you were in college. But after losing this legendary journalist on Friday, you feel that your weekend will sport a giant hole. Remember how sad we were when Princess Diana died? Now what?

Roles are recast, TV spots replaced, but when someone in the public eye dies, it can rock the nation. A memory is imprinted in the mind and today’s overwhelming coverage will make it hard to forget. But just as you would grieve for someone you know, remembering better times is key for getting through this crucial time.

What is your opinion on grieving the death of someone you don’t even know? How do you deal?

Posted: 6/16/08

Grieving the death of a public figure you identify with is partially due to coming to grips with your own morality and we tend not to want to think about death and how fleeting life is. We need to deal with our thoughts about death and what comes next!

  • By Reborn
  • on 6/19/08 2:20 AM EST

I'm not sure the appropriate term for what I feel for these losses is grief. Perhaps it's more of an instinctual level of sadness for their friends and loved ones, and for the fact that their talent can't really be replaced.

  • By kristen
  • on 6/17/08 9:30 PM EST