Country artist Luke Bryan lost his brother-in-law this week who was married to his sister Kelly. She died a number of years ago at the age of 39. He has also suffered the loss of his brother, Chris who died at the age of 26. This would be heartbreaking for anyone. The difference is we have lives that allow us to grieve in solitude.

Grieving and mourning the loss of a loved one is extremely complicated and agonizing. Celebrities who lose someone, like others, 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 sibling (or any loved one for that matter) is an immeasurable loss in our personal lives. This is no different for a celebrity. 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.

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