Why do we grieve the death of celebrities?
To some this might seem like an over the top reaction to the death of someone you have never met but psychotherapist Iseult White believes there is a good reason why celebrity deaths can be so triggering.
“It just brings back all of those memories back so vividly,” she told Lunchtime Live.
“It’s obviously not the memories of the show, it’s the memories of that time in our life and all of the things we were doing while we were watching the show.
“I lived in America when Friends started and then I moved back to Ireland and the mirror they had in one of the rooms was a mirror that I bought in Pottery Barn - it just so vividly brings you back to parts of your life.”
'We do feel a loss'
Ms White said many people develop an “emotional relationship” with their favourite celebrities and are often surprised by how upset they are when they die.
“I think it is okay to grieve,” she said.
“It’s not like grieving somebody that we know and we like but it is a way of us channelling some of our own grief and losses, I think.
“I don’t think we should diminish or demean the fact we do feel a loss for it.
“I suppose if you consider how the level of grief people felt about Princess Diana when she died.”
We are devastated to learn of Matthew Perry’s passing. He was a true gift to us all. Our heart goes out to his family, loved ones, and all of his fans. pic.twitter.com/Xv6HkpSEBl
— FRIENDS (@FriendsTV) October 29, 2023
Ms White described Friends as a “constant companion” in so many people’s lives and that the circumstances of Mr Perry’s death will be particularly upsetting.
“I think we’re mourning the loss of Chandler Bing in a way,” she said.
“But we’re also sad… that that’s the ending for Matthew Perry when we probably all wanted so much more for him than to drown in his jacuzzi.
“It’s really sad.”
Main image:Matthew Perry. Picture by: Rich Fury/Invision/AP.