How To Handle The Grief From A Famous Person’s Death

How do you grieve over the death of someone you have never met?

A former Big Brother Naija housemate, Rico Swavey died this morning after a ghastly accident and I found myself saddened by the news. Sadder than I thought. I have never met him, but I enjoyed reading his tweets, and somehow it felt like I knew him.


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Death can be a rude awakening for all of us. No one said the only people you can grieve are people you know personally or met. Famous people are human beings.

These are the people you watched on television and followed their social media. If they were athletes, you watched them win or lose games and cried or rejoiced with them.

If they were actors, you felt connected to the characters they played and if they were influencers, they made you laugh or kept you entertained.

Then you hear that they are dead, and it hurts, you feel the lump in your chest. You want to cry – even though you never met them.


Death reminds us of many things – the impermanence of life, how precious every moment is and that rude awakening can make you scared, make you feel like you are running out of time.

You might even be reminded of the time a friend or family member died, fresh memories of loss and death can be triggering, how do you deal with the feelings?

There’s no manual. You’ve heard about the five stages of grief which are anger, denial, bargaining, depression and acceptance. You must go through it.

You have to let yourself feel the whole range of emotions, you might want to cry immediately or you might be in shock for a while.

You might find yourself compulsively posting about it or needing to be offline. There is no best way to react to death, it’s painful, and you must go through all the stages of healing by allowing yourself to feel it. Time would eventually make sure it doesn’t hurt as much


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