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Why does it still hurt when someone you didn't know personally dies?

Mac Miller died a week ago. I didn't know him personally and I never really listened to his music, but oddly I felt really affected by his death. I was really deeply and genuinely sad reading about him passing away and I just couldn't figure out why. Every time I saw the internet post something about him or Instagram pictures of him, I felt sorrow. For days I wondered what it was and why I felt like I knew him which made the grieving process that much more difficult.

It was only on the day that I facilitate/run one of my Substance Use Disorder groups that I realized why I felt a deep sadness/grief about his death. The individuals I work with. Per reports, Mac Miller died of a drug overdose. In his music and in interviews, he was open about his addiction to drugs. Because I work with individuals that have dealt with or are currently dealing with their substance abuse, there was a connection there. I couldn't help but compare. Substance abuse and addiction are serious matters and it pains me to see anyone lose their battle especially because I work with those in their recovery-even someone at the height of their career at such a youthful age with their whole life and potential ahead of them.

The point of me writing this blog post wasn't just to paint out the serious hard cut truth about addiction, but also to bring up loss, death, and coping once again. Death and loss can be extremely difficult to cope with especially if it is the death of a loved one or relative, however what if it is a stranger that you never met? In this case, I was wondering "why does Mac Miller's death have such a impact on me?" When I should have been asking, "What about me and my experiences with others made me feel such a hard time hearing the news of his death?" Looking within ourselves can help us come to terms with closure and loss whether it be our best friend or a stranger who reminds us of ourselves or someone else.

Not ignoring why and how you are feeling about loss and death are the first steps to healing and the grieving process.

Thank you talking it out with me,


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