Receiving the news that a celebrity you admire has passed away is never easy; more so if that person brought so much joy into your life.
Suddenly, you’re in a state of shock as a wave of emotions you didn’t think you’d be able to feel all at once for someone you might have never even met crashes over you — emotions that also somehow manifested into a range of extremely physical experiences from goosebumps and trembling hands to lightheadedness and palpitations.
Then reality sets in: This is it. This is grief.
And you know what? Even if you never got the chance to know your idol on a personal level, everything you are feeling right now is totally natural and valid. There is nothing wrong, embarrassing, or dramatic about mourning over a celebrity you’ve come to love. After all, you were deeply connected to them through their work, the struggles they opened up about, and their public life in general.
Because the passing of your favorite celebrity can affect you just as much as how losing a close friend would, here are some ways to help you navigate through this difficult time in your life as a fan:
Allow yourself to mourn
The most crucial step you can take during this period of grief is to acknowledge all the emotions that occur to you. Avoid resisting even the most unpleasant feelings. Instead, make an agreement with yourself that you will allow yourself to mourn the loss of a special figure in your life.
Connect with the members of your fandom
Sometimes, the best people to talk to at the moment are those who feel the same way you do — your fellow fans or fandom mutuals. Send a message to your closest fandom friends to see how they’re doing. Check if there are local memorial services being held near your place that you can attend. You may also join a support group to share your thoughts or extend comfort to others.
If you’d rather spend time in solitary to process the heavy news, consider writing down what you have in mind. Take a pen and paper (it doesn’t have to be a proper journal if you don’t have one with you), sit in a position that makes you feel comfortable, and then write everything you want to put into words. In fact, you can even compose a letter addressed to the celebrity. This simple activity will help you get in tune with your current emotions and unload the burden you’ve been carrying. Alternatively, if you’re not into writing, you can also devote your time to making fan art.
Take a social media break
The news about a celebrity’s passing is sure to be all over the internet, which you might find overwhelming. No matter how much you want to keep up with the latest developments of the story, it might be best to take a break from your feed and try to focus on the immediate responsibilities you have to carry out, be it for school, for work, or at home. Maintaining your usual routine brings you familiarity, security, and comfort when you’re faced with an uncommon experience. You can check updates once you feel a bit more stable and have ticked all the items on your to-do list.
Self-care is essential to help you move past this tough time. Make sure to eat hearty meals, hydrate, and engage in physical activities like cardio exercises or yoga. During your free time, instead of reading triggering articles about the celebrity, read a book or pick up a hobby you’ve always wanted to try.
Revisit the work of the celebrity
Just because a celebrity you adore has passed, doesn’t mean your connection with them has also come to an end. Whenever you’re ready, try to revisit their work. Listen to their songs, view the photos they took, or watch the movies or shows they appeared in. Doing so might provide you with the sense of comfort and companionship you’ve always received from them.
Do not hesitate to ask for help if you feel like your grief is becoming too much to handle. Speak with a close family member or a friend to keep you company. You may also opt to seek the advice of a mental help professional to equip you with the tools you need to deal with your extreme feelings of anguish. You don’t have to face this matter alone.
The Crisis Hotlines of the National Center for Mental Health are:
- 1553 (Luzon-wide, toll-free)
- Globe/TM Subscribers
- 0966 351 4518
- 0917 899 9727
- Smart/Sun/TNT Subscribers
- 0908 639 2672
Be an advocate
In most instances, the cause of a celebrity’s death is announced to the public. If your favorite star died because of an illness or disorder, you might want to take part in meaningful efforts to raise awareness of the condition they suffered from. You can sign up for volunteer work or raise funds to donate under your idol’s name. That way, their memory lives on as you help improve the lives of others.
Once again, there is nothing wrong or embarrassing about grieving over the death of a celebrity you admire. Take your time to heal, and one day, you can look back at your fondest fandom memories with a smile.
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