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Okay Player – What Happens to People When a Celebrity Dies? Here’s What a Psychologist Has to Say

Okayplayer spoke with Dr. Danielle Forshee, Psy.D., a clinical psychologist and social worker, on the public and personal real-time reckoning with Nipsey Hussle’s death, empathy vs. emotional response, and the human condition to examine the cyclical pattern of reaction to help us understand how, why, and what we feel when celebrities die.

Can you describe the psychological process of mourning as it pertains to celebrity death? What are some common ways the public reacts to fame and death?

The psychological process of mourning when it comes to celebrities is very similar to the process of mourning when it comes to non-celebrities. The only real difference is we are typically mourning the loss of who we believed them to be and who we needed them to be. For example, we attach to celebrities because of similarities that we see in them when related to ourselves.

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