Death of an idol

Is it possible to mourn the death of a celebrity you don’t know?

Over the past five years, there have been several celebrities who have passed away to the surprise of their fan bases.

Most recently, 21-year-old rapper Jarad Higgins, more commonly known as Juice WRLD, suffered a seizure in a Chicago airport. Paramedics tried to revive Higgins, but despite their best attempts, he passed away shortly after reaching the hospital.

News of Juice WRLD’s death spread like wildfire, flooding social media with hashtags and posts of a young talent taken too soon. Fans who had no personal connection to the rapper gave insight as if they were his closest friends.

On the flip side, some used the tragedy to point out the fans had no right to comment on Juice WRLD’s death. Which begs the question: Can you mourn the death of someone you didn’t know personally?

The answer to that question is yes.

Though fans may not have met Juice WRLD, the young rapper became an idol to many. With so many of his songs referencing his battles with drug addiction and depression, he delivered a relatable message that resonated with his fans.

264 million people around the world struggle with depression. Seeing someone who is recognized globally share a piece of themselves with complete strangers made Juice WRLD an idol to many. He gave a piece of himself to his fans.

When someone shares something so personal it has the power to create a bond, even if that bond happens to be with a complete stranger.

So, it’s only natural that once that bond is created, fans be allowed to mourn the death of Juice WRLD.

Juice WRLD isn’t the first celebrity to bring this issue to the spotlight.

In 2018, rapper Mac Miller passed away after an accidental drug overdose. As with Juice WRLD, fans were devastated.

Fast-forward to modern day and Miller’s partner released a posthumous album that features music Miller recorded before his early death.

The album entitled Circles has fans remembering Miller’s life and resurfacing emotions that haven’t been experienced in nearly a year.

So, mourn who you want. If someone made you feel something, it’s ok to be sad when they leave this world too soon.

Cry. Listen to their albums on repeat for months. Tweet to your heart’s content. Draw their face until it’s burned into your mind. Hell, write some awful fan fiction if that’s what helps you cope.

You have the right to mourn. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.