As we mourn and react to the death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter and fellow helicopter passengers, we at OUR HOUSE are struck by the ways feelings arise when a public figure dies. The initial shock that many experienced upon learning of his death was followed by feelings of grief by those who felt a personal connection to Mr. Bryant.
When a favorite musician, TV personality, sports figure, or other public figure dies, adults struggle to find the words to comfort and support their children because we may feel a closeness despite never having met. The acquired intimacy from growing up with these public figures and following their careers makes their death a personal loss. Unsure of the “right” words or fearing strong reactions, adults may avoid the topic altogether. Far too often children are left alone, struggling to understand why bad and scary things happen and searching for ways to cope.