We grieve the death of public figures in many ways. We can engage in social media to express our feelings, talk to mental health professionals, or seek an outlet for our grief. This can be helpful, but we should also make sure to allow ourselves to grieve as deeply as we need to.
Finding an outlet
One way to cope with grief after the death of a public figure is to find a safe outlet for your emotions. The most helpful outlet is to talk with other people who are grieving about the loss. The internet and online forums can be helpful ways to connect with others who share your feelings. Another helpful outlet is to donate to a charity that the deceased person was passionate about.
Social media is an increasingly popular outlet for grieving the death of a famous person. In addition to Facebook, Twitter has also become a popular place to pay tribute to the deceased. After the death of a celebrity, his or her name usually becomes the top trending topic on Twitter for a day or more. Fans, journalists, and personal acquaintances post 140-character tributes. These messages are posted in a public forum where anyone can comment and respond. This is different from Facebook posts, where only friends and family can respond.
If you have no personal connection to the deceased, you may feel nothing. This can be upsetting to people who are still mourning. It’s important to remember that everyone grieves in different ways. You may feel nothing at all, or you may be indifferent to the situation. Whatever your response, be open and honest with those you love.
Finding a mental health professional
There are many different ways to deal with grief. One approach is cognitive behavioral therapy, which encourages mindfulness and acceptance of your feelings. Another option is acceptance and commitment therapy, which involves distancing yourself from negative emotions and focusing on what you want to accomplish. The goal of both of these approaches is to help you find a way to move on and be happy again.
Grief often comes in waves. These waves may be frequent and intense at the beginning, but they may become more manageable over time. There is no right time to feel grief, and some people experience it for much longer than others. Some of the most intense grief is not cured by time, and it often lingers for months and years. This is what psychiatrists refer to as prolonged grief, and it can impact the bereaved person’s life in profound ways.
Communal nature of grief
Many of us are feeling a loss – personal, professional, or financial. In addition to feeling grief, we may also be feeling uncertain about the future. If we can find ways to grieve together, we can begin the healing process. Communal grief is especially beneficial when the relationship to the deceased was complex.
While we have long felt grief in individual circumstances, our current collective grief is relatively new. It has roots in the social and psychological sciences. Grief has always been felt on a micro and macro level, but our experience of grief after the death of public figures is different.
The anthropological approach to death and mourning highlights this complexity. It has the advantage of recognizing the social and communal dimensions of mourning and its capacity to shape social narratives. However, it can also challenge our understanding of what grief is. In this issue, we highlight seven ethnographic explorations of grief and its diversity in different contexts.