With the death of Lisa Marie Presley, mental health experts reveal why we grieve so much for the missing celebrity
Lisa Marie Presley only child Icon Elvis Presley and his wife, Priscilla Presley, died Jan. 12 after her home paramedics responded to an initial “don’t breathe” call, Fox News Digital reported.
Salute to Social media Celebrities and regular people alike who never met or knew Lisa Marie, who was 54 at the time of her death.
Why do we grieve over the death of famous people we have never met and whom we do not know personally?
The only child of Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis and Priscilla, he died at the age of 54
Social media may be just one reason why we feel close to celebrities, according to her Mental health experts.
said Dr. Natalie Bernstein, a clinical psychologist Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Bernstein also said, “We feel connected to them and may feel as if we are friends.”
In the case of Lisa Marie Presley, Bernstein said, “Many of us felt that we knew her even before she was born, and then watched her grow up as well.”
“We started to feel attached,” she continued [celebrities] in a way that looks natural, [by] Watch videos and interviews and learn about their preferences, as you would with a friend.
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Bernstein noted that we “form ideas about who they are” and “incorporate aspects of them into our lives” through their songs, films, and products.
Bernstein added, “Grief is the suffering of loss—the human no longer lives in our lives.” “Absence can feel overwhelming and sad.”
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We might feel “anxiety,” she said — and those feelings can be “uncomfortable, because we realize we didn’t really know it, but felt as if we did.”
We can even mourn the lives celebrities couldn’t live, she said, if they died young or had children.
“Maybe our personal experiences of grief and loss will come into play,” she said, noting that if we lost a parent at a young age, “we would really sympathize with the child of the deceased celebrity.”
“Our favorite celebrities are often the people we identify with — we think they are like us and we are like them.”
Another New York-based mental health expert agreed with Bernstein regarding the impact of social media on reactions to celebrity deaths, saying we share a celebrity’s “good times and bad.”
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“Celebrities, especially in this day and age of ubiquitous social media, are ‘America’s family,’” said Dr. Mark Sirkin, a clinical psychologist and associate dean of the College of Health Professions at Long Island University in New York.
“The power of celebrity is known to us through the psychological mechanism of ‘identification’,” he said.
He also said, “Often our favorite celebrities are the people we identify with — we think they’re like us and we’re like them.”
When something happens to them, whether it be a tragedy, an accident or a death, he said, “it is as if it happened to us or our families.”
Celebrity deaths are a “collective reminder” that even “larger than life” individuals only have “a short time here”.
A California-based therapist said we often “ignore” knowledge about our own deaths, and that celebrity deaths are a “collective reminder” that even “larger-than-life” individuals only have “a short time here.”
This sense of mortality “is paired with the fact that these individuals are so attached to our happy memories,” said Christine McInnis, a licensed marriage and family therapist and owner of Transcends Family Therapy in Torrance, California.
She added that the loss of fame is “a loss of what they represent to us, whether it is joy, laughter or excitement.”
“For these reasons, a feeling of grief such as the loss of a relative or friend results.”
“For decades, a celebrity may have been invited into our homes by the media — and it likely feels familiar.”
Another professional shared the revelation of why we grieve when we lose someone we never knew.
“Grief is a very normal emotional process,” said Shannon O’Neill, PhD, a licensed psychologist and assistant professor in the department of psychology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Health System in New York.
And yes, she said, “It’s entirely possible to feel grief after losing someone you don’t know personally.”
That’s because “getting into one person’s life and sometimes intimate access to another individual’s personal details—and following their life, whether through media or public events—can lead to a feeling of knowing them on a much more personal level.”
She also said that “For decades, a celebrity may have been invited into our homes by the media – and it likely feels familiar. [person] It may have been a constant and permanent variable in one’s life.
“Exploring why an individual is important to you can offer powerful insight into personal values.”
And “once they are removed, it can feel as if something or someone is missing.” She also said that “the lives and legacies of celebrities reflect a great deal of symbolism”.
Jayme Albin, PhD, a licensed psychologist and cognitive behavioral therapist in New York City, notes, “Celebrities represent sources of ‘attachment personalities’ that fans are emotionally attached to.”
She also said, “When there’s a life-altering event going on, people who are fans connect in real ways.”
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Bernstein of Penn State noted that instead of “judging yourself as ‘ridiculous’ or feeling as if your sadness is unwarranted because you didn’t know” the celebrity personally — allow yourself to “feel sad.”
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She added, “Think about what a celebrity means to you, and what his or her work has brought you into your life.”
On this same point, O’Neill added, “If acknowledged willingly, grief can be enlightening, showcasing what is important to you and who they are.” Explore Why The individual may be important to you, and can provide powerful insight into personal values.”