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Why Do Celebrity Deaths Affect Us So Much?


Leonard Nimoy passed away this morning from complications arising from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The beloved actor was also proficient at photography and poetry, but it’s his role as the stoic Vulcan, Mr. Spock, that launched him into the hearts of everyone in the galaxy.

As I drove home from the university I was pondering the attachment people have to the actors and actresses that play these iconic roles and why we feel such terrible loss and grief at their passing. I didn’t know Mr. Nimoy, hadn’t met him, even at a scifi convention, but his death made my heart hurt all the same.

Is it only the thought that he won’t be appearing in any more movies, taking any more pictures, or writing any more poetry that makes me sad? There have been other actors and actresses that have died and while I was sad they are no longer with us, my thoughts centered more on how their families must feel rather than my own feeling of loss.

With Mr. Nimoy it’s different Perhaps it’s because Star Trek was such a big part of my life that I feel I know him more than I did other famous people who have died. I grew up watching the original series as well as the Next Generation and movies. Spock was always one of my favorite characters. During some of the toughest emotional times of my life I often wished I could be more like Spock, all logic and no emotions.

Whatever the reasons I am deeply saddened by Mr. Nimoy’s passing and send my condolences to his family and close friends as they are obviously feeling his loss much more so than I. They shared him with the world and for that I will always be grateful. Leonard Nimoy’s spirit will always live long and prosper, so long as he remains alive in our hearts.

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4 Comments on “Why Do Celebrity Deaths Affect Us So Much?”

  1. Sally Ember, Ed.D. February 28, 2015 at 7:22 am #

    You’ll appreciate this, then, Shay: The little-known Jewish history of the Vulcan greeting. We already miss you, Leonard. May your memory be a blessing. Rest in Peace. Alav ha Shalom. http://widdershinsfirst.com/2015/02/27/bon-voyage-leonard-nimoy/

  2. tristin May 9, 2015 at 6:45 pm #

    I came across aaliyahs story the other day( the late singer) i found myself engulfed in her life story. I was in my late 20s when she hit the sceen. And i remember really liking her first song, back and forth. And i would here about her, now and again. I also remember her death a little. Now back to present. I spent 2 days watching interviews, of her. The lifetime movie about her, etc etc. I found myself very sad, in tears at times. She died at 22 yrs old. She was breaking out at her peak, my point is, i was really upset about it, and didnt really no why. It depressed me pretty good. And as i write this i find myself thinking of it. Just wanted to put that out there for whatever reason.

    • tristin May 9, 2015 at 6:48 pm #

      It just seemed so strange i would get that upset over someone i didnt even know. Im a 44yr old man. I was about 31 when she died. So its not like im some silly teenager. R.i.p AALIYAH

      • drshaywest May 9, 2015 at 7:02 pm #

        Maybe we see so much of ourselves in certain celebrities. And when they die young it reminds us of our own mortality

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