Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Yes, You Can Cry Over a Celebrity

Too many times when a celebrity dies I hear various complaints from people. How we shouldn't make a big deal about them. How we didn't know them. How there are other big things happening in the world which need our attention. Etc.

Thankfully, I haven't heard any of these complaints about the recent passing of Robin Williams. 

As sad as I was reading the endless posts on Twitter and Facebook about Robin Williams, it also was endearing. Some truly awful things have been happening in the country and world lately. My family watches two or three news shows a night and it's depressing. I hate watching or even having it on in the background because I don't want the constant reminder of how many awful things are in the world.

But we can still come together and mourn, but also celebrate an amazing life. Movies and comedy we've known our entire lives and still laugh and cry over.

Because, even if we didn't know them, it's okay to mourn the death of someone famous. 

I remember in high school my friend and I were recognizing the anniversary of when John Lennon died. I was talking about it in class and a guy who sat behind me started to complain about how it didn't matter. Just because this guy was famous didn't mean we should be talking about it years and years later.

Or even just last year when Cory Monetith from Glee died, I heard people sharing how ridiculous they thought it was that so many people were mourning him.

First... It's John Lennon. Just... Really?

Second, what's so wrong in recognizing their life and death?

Remembering them is important. They were still people. They made mistakes and had the skeletons in their closet out for all of the world to see. Many times theses celebrities have awful pasts and
major issues. But they were still people. We remember our own loved ones, and we can remember those we've never met as well. Because they were people. They were people God created and loved. 

And their work was important. Yes, sometimes they made jokes or awful dance club music or just drove around a car really fast. But it made people smile. For those few moments, the outside world was gone and people were entertained. We laughed and cried during movies and TV shows. 

Because art is important. I want people to know that just because someone wasn't in politics or started a movement, or fought against the injustices of the world, and made art instead (even if it seemed silly at times), it doesn't mean it wasn't important or meaningful.

Art touches us and moves us. It shows us how we feel, what we want the world to be like, and changes us. We need those people in the world. They help to change the world in their own way.

It's not just about Robin Williams. It's all of those awesome actors, musicians, writers, directors, etc. who have left their mark and we miss. I think about that part of the Academy Awards and they recognize all who had passed that year in the movie industry. Some of the names I know, but there are many I don't. But every year a lump comes to my throat to think of all of those people.

First - because they were people. Every life is valuable.

Second- because they helped create art. No matter how large or small their role was or what sort of thing they did. They helped create something which touched others. It's important and needs to be recognized.

So yes, you can mourn when your favorite actor or singer or heck even athlete dies. Marathon their movies and tv shows. Here's to you, you wonderful artists and comedians and performers of the past whom we miss. Because it matters.

And my friends, we never know what battle people are fighting. Please, be kind to each other, and if you ever need a shoulder to cry on or lean against, I'm here.


  1. Well said. I keep thinking of all the movies I love that he was in. Especially Aladdin- when my dad took us to see it, I think he liked it more than we did because of all the Genie jokes that only adults get.

    Suicide is the saddest way to die, and I'm heartbroken that this is how his life ended.

  2. Excellent post, with some excellent points.
    Every death is sad, but I agree that suicide is one of the saddest ways a person can die. In my experience, it can/does destroy the people that are left who were close to them. Grieving and trying to come to terms with everything related to the suicide, that can take forever.
    So grieve the man, and remember him for the excellent work he did over his lifetime. He touched a lot of lives in different ways. If a death affects you, mourn. If it doesn't, don't. And don't say someone shouldn't mourn this death over this one, this more than that, et cetera. People's grief manifests itself both in different ways and towards different targets.

  3. Gosh darn it. I just got over crying about this and your post made me tear up again.

  4. an icon of mine growing up. i saw so many of his movies with my aunt (she was a real movie buff); a terrible tragedy :(

  5. I really liked this post. Robin William's passing has really had a big impact on me (even if I didn't know him personally). And your last remark is absolutely true. You never know what someone is going through, they might be suffering on the inside, and no one knows. So having supportive friends is important...

  6. I was really upset when a few well known storm chasers died last year and I felt so silly because I didn't know them in real life, just through social media and their show Storm Chasers but I finally realized, I knew them enough to care deeply about them and was saddened not just for myself, but for their families.

  7. You said everything beautifully! People are people, no matter their celebrity sadness.

    Wow. So so so sad about Robin WIlliams :( RIP.

  8. Robin Williams has been one of my favorite actors probably since I saw Mrs. Doubtfire for the first time when I was really little. I think his goofy nature always kinda reminded me of my dad, and there's something about celebrities reminding you about someone you know and love that makes you cherish their work more. I think that it was nice to see an actor who didn't seem to take himself too seriously and had a passion for making people happy. I was devastated when I heard this and couldn't quite explain why it impacted me so much, but I think this post is spot on. Thanks for using words to not only define how so many people may be feeling but also to make it feel okay to feel this way. :)


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