Regardless of who it is, a victim of death is always mourned. But does it make a difference if you didn’t know the person at all?
There is a screen that separates famous individuals and their lives from people like you and me, and I’m not only talking about a movie screen.
One can never really tell who an actor is. Yes, we know their names, their roles and maybe even their favorite colors, but we don’t exactly know who they are as a person.
If you knew every detail about a certain celebrity, for example, how they treat their parents, if they’re heavy drinkers, or whether or not they pay their child support, would an individual still be such a diehard fan of that celebrity?
The question is not whether or not we can mourn for these people after their deaths—we absolutely can. The question is whether or not we should treat it as something so tragic, so difficult to go through, as if one had lost someone close to them.
After the recent deaths of Paul Walker and Nelson Mandela, photographs instantly hit social media.
People everywhere paid their respects to their fallen role model or inspirational political figure. Of course, these individuals could have made a difference in someone’s life and of course death is difficult to cope with.
But, when does paying your respects cross the line towards a dramatic eulogy, or even worse—a cry for attention?
When Paul Walker passed away on November 30, 2013, my heart began to ache—not because I’m in love with him, not because I believe we should be on a first name basis with one other, but because someone loves him.
Someone loves Paul Walker unconditionally—not because he’s in movies and drives fast in them, and not because he’s gorgeous.
They love him for the person he is, the father he is, whoever he truly may be.
My heart ached for his family.
I had heard one too many times the week of Walker’s death that individuals had felt almost felt like a family member died.
I pose a serious question to my fellow Facebookers when I ask how exactly Paul Walker was like a family member to them. If you really knew Paul Walker like a family member, I think I would know it.
Clearly, the individuals who state this don’t have a firm grasp on what being a family feels like.
Making this sort of statement should make you feel extremely lucky, because in the eyes of someone who has actually lost a family member, you are blessed to have never felt that sort of pain to reference the feeling of Walker’s death to.
According to census.org, roughly 150,000 people die each day.
What about these people?
What about the soldiers fighting every single day for you and your rights as an American?
Why aren’t they given a second thought?
Reliance on movies stars and musicians isn’t a bad thing, but shouldn’t today’s role models be people who live like us and have good morals to live by?
Mourning for celebrities is something all individuals will do at some point—we all have our favorites.
Just reflect on the things they did for you, and the lessons they taught you so it’s all put into perspective.
Jennica Martin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org