Celebrity Death

Tragic in more than one way…

A recent news headline announced another celebrity losing his life prematurely. No matter who it is, death is tragic. It puts an impassible gulf between us, the living, and them, the departed. Pending your worldview on the afterlife it could be a permanent departure and again, this is sad. So why does the pomp and circumstance that occurs when a celebrity passes on bother me? I am not sure if I can completely and succinctly articulate what are essentially emotions but I will do my best to extract them and put it to “paper”.

1. They are just people – I might be strange but I have never been star struck. Even on the occasion that I have met a celebrity in person, I’ve never lost my mind over it. In fact, I usually just give them their space realizing they are continuously mobbed and I don’t want to be part of that herd. So in death I feel the same way. Confused over why there is so much MORE fanfare and grief than that of anyone else.

2. Sole focus on good – I realize a funeral is not the time to air someone’s faults. We don’t eulogize people by saying, “John was a great man. Would have been even better had he not been a raging alcoholic.” But if we are going to practically worship the fallen-famous who has been in the news for their great accomplishments to the complete avoidance of some of the well known and not-so-great headlines they’ve generated, it really bugs me.

3. False grief – For every person that was truly close to the departed celebrity there are lots that use the moment to put a spotlight on themselves with over-the-top gestures of insincere grief. Though I am sad that a human life was taken too soon and even more sad that children were also taken by the tragedy, I cannot suddenly develop the kind of emotion that would equal someone with an actual relationship to those that have been lost and put it on display. Yet some seem to rise to that challenge and its just cringe-worthy.

4. Spiritual state – The primary issue I find myself concerned with when ANYONE passes but especially the celebrity, who is so often surrounded by all kinds of false narratives that leave them spiritually bankrupt, is the condition of their soul. That condition is directly determined by whether or not the person in question had a relationship with Jesus Christ or not. I pray that they came to know Jesus even if just a week or day before.

What are your thoughts? Am I too insensitive to news like this? Do I have a point or not really? What did I leave out if you are also bothered by how our society marks the passing of the famous?

That’s my two cents, keep the change…

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4 Comments

  1. A couple of things, because this hit me harder then I ever thought it would. I’ll explain why momentarily…

    First, I think you see such an outpouring because, as they are celebrities, lots of people enjoyed their work, whether it was sports/music/movies, etc. so they reached a wide audience, and more people will naturally be upset then if it were the average joe on the street.

    This would be like if Jordan died for me, or Troy, or several people. But it wasn’t just some death by natural causes, it was a tragic, unexpected death, which naturally brings on more emotion.

    I think, I’m Kobe’s instance, the need to rehash his major mistake of the past immediately, is unnecessary. Yes, he screwed up big time. I guess when you look at his life since, there’s been no controversy. From what can be seen, he’s been a model citizen, a good husband, and a great dad. I guess, in my mind, there’s a difference between that and someone like Epstein. Maybe that’s just me.

    And finally, he was killed, but it wasn’t just him. He had his one of his daughters with him. There was another girl and her parents, while I believe the two other girls were with the grandparents. I know that, more than anything, had me in tears. I make so many long trips with my kids to sports, and have been in a major wreck with them in the car already. So it absolutely breaks my heart that this happened, mainly because life can be gone, just like that.

    So anyway, those are just my thoughts.

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  2. All valid points but you did bring up something else that bothers me but I get it on some level as well. Several people including kids and other parents died in this accident. News coverage barely mentions anyone more than Kobe and his daughter. And while Kobe is not an Epstein, I do think they might represent a “scale” of bad judgement and I cannot always “forget” those acts in death. For instance if Cosby died tomorrow I am not going to mourn him the way I would have if the Spanish Fly secrets hadn’t surfaced and he remained America’s favorite dad. Thanks for your input, gives me lots to consider.

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