I remember wondering if there was a grief bandwagon that I should be climbing aboard, since people who were admittedly not close to the deceased were crying in the hallways, attending funerals, and simply acting grief stricken. I remember one person in particular that was close to someone who had passed being very angry about how others around him were grieving for his friend, and I found the whole thing a bit confusing.
Years later I realized that grief compiles upon other losses, and that some losses are simply easier to feel than others. So now when people cry, or grieve in ways that might feel in-congruent to the outside observer, I recognize that the person is not just grieving over this one things, but about every loss or hurt they have ever experienced. Regardless of if it is for people or lost dreams we all have a lot to grieve over, and many of us haven't given ourselves permission to be sad, or experience the whole of our emotions.
For me, this puts an understandable context around how people grieve for those that we do not know, and how celebrity deaths can feel oddly personal. Take the death of Princess Dianna or Michael Jackson and how hoards of people came out to leave flowers, trinkets and hold vigils to honor their loss. Yes, these people impacted people's lives, and that should be honored in some way, but they were not close relationships. This weekend, t.v. Glee celebrity, Corey Monteith, died, and although this loss does not affect me directly, I found it untimely, and thus surprising. What I haven't been surprised by is the reaction from fans of the show, and friends who have been feeling the loss more personally. So, if you are feeling a bit down-hearted lately, or have shed some unexpected tears, take a moment and be kind to yourself. This is about a loss, but it is also about all your losses and hurts, and those should be honored with time and tears.