It’s one of those moments where you’re so stunned by bad news that you momentarily forget that this isn’t someone you actually know.
In yet another week of our ongoing mind boggling existence in America under the 45 regime, I find myself observing people around me registering even more shock at celebrity tragedy.
The Hef dies at 91.
The Pratt/Faris divorce devolves. (Maybe)
Julia Louis Dreyfus has breast cancer.In a simple, yet poignant note on the Instagram, she both announces her diagnosis, expresses gratitude and issues a call to arms on healthcare.
Of course, the nation reacts with stunned awe, commence pre-grieving mode. That said, I’m usually conflicted at the amount of emotional devastation people can summon for celebrities they’ve never met. On the one hand, I’m happy to see that we haven’t lost our sense of empathy. However, I’m also curious about where that empathy is when something bad happens closer to home with them.
Rarely do I see someone so utterly destroyed at the loss of a parent, as was the case with Hef recently and Debbie Reynolds late last year. Empirically, I know that the shock at the loss of a parent is different, since children are usually present for their decline. Things aren’t left unsaid, hopefully.
Not so with a celebrity death. It’s pretty much all shock, all of the time since we are exactly not in their everyday lives. I expect that’s where a lot of the (over)reaction comes from.
Still, I can’t help but wonder whether we wouldn’t be better off as a people if we couldn’t find a medium to our empathy.
Perhaps our parents would be better cherished at the end of their lives instead of brought out, dusted off and propped at the head of a table for holidays and birthdays.
Or maybe we’d just have much fatter homeless people.
Hard to say.
And let’s not even talk about the death of a pet.
Yup, celebrity and pet deaths…that’s pretty much the apex of our emotions inAmerica these days.
I’m gonna find a challenge for myself to be better about that…stay tuned.