Grieving and mourning the loss of a child is extremely complicated and agonizing. Celebrities who lose a child, like other grieving parents, have a long, painful and lonely road to walk. The difference is they are doing so under the watchful eye of an adoring public. How do they cope?
The grief process is not time specific nor is it predictable or orderly. Individuals may mourn the loss of their loved one for months and likely, years, to come. To resolve one’s grief and integrate the loss into his or her life requires turning within, reflecting on life and the memories we treasure. Although the bereaved require supports and social contact during their healing, the grief journey is a personal and private passage.
Celebrities have their fans support to take the time they need to grieve the death of a loved one – at first that is! The reality is that eventually family, friends and co-workers and in a celebrity’s case – his or her fans – will hold an expectation that they must “get over it” and move on. No one “gets over” their loss. But one can reconcile their loss and integrate it into their life and then move forward. It takes great courage and strength to pause life and adequately work through sorrow – but it must be done. In fact, it is critical to one’s healing.
Losing a child is an immeasurable loss for parents. There isn’t one of us who would not give up our own life in favor of our child keeping his or hers. While the endings are not ours to write – the gift of unconditional support is ours to give. That is the least we can offer those who suffer the loss of a loved one — including celebrities. Everyone needs time to heal.