Experiencing Grief Over the Death of a Stranger

It’s natural to feel grief when we lose someone close to us. Whether it was a grandmother, a father, or a cousin, we’ve spent valuable time with these people and it affects us emotionally when we realize that they’ve departed from our lives. However, how can we explain the grief and the feelings that we experience when a celebrity or stranger passes on? Is it natural? Is it harmful? Why does it happen and what can we do about it?

Why Do We Grieve Over A Stranger?

Think about the word stranger. What comes to mind? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a stranger is someone who is “a person or thing that is unknown or with whom one is unacquainted.” Think about the person that you are grieving over. Are they a stranger? In order to be a complete stranger, you had to have not known them at all. One reason that you could be morning over someone you don’t know is that you felt a connection with them.

For example, let’s imagine that one of your favorite celebrities have died. For one reason or another, you are feeling terrible about their death. You are probably thinking to yourself, why am I feeling this way towards someone I’ve never met? The answer is simple; You felt a deep connection with that person. You felt as though that celebrity understood you on a personal level and they inspired you in a way that other people couldn’t. This type of personal connection is one of the biggest factors in grief.

Then, how do we explain the grief we experience towards people that we never felt a connection with? Well, just because you didn’t have an emotional connection doesn’t mean that you didn’t a life connection. While you may have never known them, they may have been a connection to your family, your childhood, your past, or even your community. When you lose something that is tied to something else that you deeply care about, it is still a loss. Grieving is a natural reaction to loss and that is why you are being affected.

What Can We Do About It?

Even though it’s grief we can’t understand, it is still grief. Take care of yourself, allow yourself to mourn, and when you are ready, move on.