By Kirsty Caswell
I saw a post today talking about the focus on Carrie Fisher and the other celebrity deaths in 2016 instead of the atrocities in Aleppo and around the world. And I can say that these celebrity deaths HAVE affected me more deeply. Even if you feel that makes me a bad person.
Maybe because I understand something about depression and have no possible concept or scope of being a refugee.
I think it’s because I’ve experienced mental health issues and considered suicide at times in my life but I’ve never needed to climb into a rescue helicopter to escape my home.
Or because I’ve been touched more than once by mental illness, cancer and heart conditions in the lives of those I love but I’ve never had to see my neighbours killed.
I think it’s because I can do absolutely nothing at all about Syria but donate clothes and money, but I can look in the eyes of the people around me and make sure they are actually ok.
I can fight my own war against grief and sadness. I can do something small to combat the stigma of mental illness or drug addiction in my own corner of the world. I can create and donate to charities helping musicians, researching cancer and heart disease in their honour.
I’m not ashamed to admit that losing David Bowie, Prince, Alan Rickman and now Carrie Fisher along with many others has affected me. And instead of lashing out at those who mourn losses by calling attention to “more important” deaths, maybe we should check in with the people who are mourning and just make sure they’re ok.
Instead of shaming and judging other people’s grief, maybe show some compassion and empathy?