The Death of a Celebrity


The Kobe Bryant Tragedy

The Kobe Bryant tragedy has been a topic of discussion in social media, television, and at the grocery store checkouts or dinner tables around the world for a little over a week. Whether you are a Lakers fan, love the game of basketball, or care less about the NBA, this catastrophe has struck the hearts of people everywhere. As a grief therapist and educator, it is important to take note that grieving a celebrity is many times disenfranchised. Our grief avoidant culture does not encourage those who are mourning to exhibit outward negative emotions concerning loss. We especially lack an understanding of grieving those we did not know personally. However, having emotions of sadness, loneliness, isolation, and rage are all normal grief reactions with the loss of a hero.

Celebrities and Loss

Celebrities are put on a pedestal. They seem fun and engaging. They are beautiful and affluent. They seem to have everything they could possibly want and need. In our society, they resemble a superhero or great and fearless leader. When tragic loss affects a celebrity, it collides with our own core beliefs in life. It makes this once glorified superhero become human. Many times, those appalling things that we see or experience on the news trigger our own traumas. Our own losses. Our own defeats and disappointments. Seeing a graphic video or hearing a traumatic story will stir up our own sufferings. We immediately start assessing and taking inventory of the blessings and moments to be grateful for in our lives.

The day that Robin Williams died, there was a 300% increase in call volume to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. Many times, celebrity’s deaths and tragedies result in a depression that seems insurmountable. It seems that celebrity tragedy disrupts the psychological belief that bad things are not supposed to happen to our superstars.

As our community grieves the loss of not only Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, but the other 7 lives that were lost in that split moment, know that you are not alone. Know that you may need to give yourself time to process this loss. Know that grief can cause anxiety around the daily activities in your life that once seemed effortless. Speak with a trusted friend about your grief. Visit a grief group. Read a book about mourning and the effects it can have on the daily grind. Baue Funeral Homes is committed to be a resource in the community for your grief needs. Memorials to the lives lost have been placed at each of the Baue Funeral Homes locations. Please feel free to visit to engage in your grief and do not hesitate to reach out for support.