Josh Hartman | Reporter
Jan. 26, 2020, is a date that many people will remember forever.
What started as a normal Sunday turned into a horrible nightmare as 41-year-old basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant, and seven others were killed in a tragic helicopter accident right outside of Los Angeles, CA.
Following the tragedy, fans of Bryant voiced their grief on social media, even though many of them had never even met the Lakers player himself.
Why does this happen?
Many people form a strong bond between themselves and a celebrity: someone may be inspired by what the famous person in question does.
For the incident involving Bryant specifically, many basketball fans were affected because they had just lost someone that, to them, was an idol.
Realizing that someone like Bryant could have his life taken away from him just like that is what really hurts. Many basketball fans grew up watching him play, work his magic on the court, and be an amazing family man off the court. Then, just like that: gone.
Many people have different famous people in their lives that make them smile and laugh. An person fitting this profile for many Americans was Robin Williams, an actor and comedian who always knew how to put a smile on different faces.
Williams dying in Aug. of 2014 hurt many people that looked up to him. Hearing an actor’s voice doesn’t feel the same after they pass away.
It hurts even more when a celebrity passes away unexpectedly.
Jarad Higgins, known to most as Juice WRLD, passed away in Dec. of last year. The young rapper was only 21. Many people looked up to him and went to his music for peace.
Fans all around the world who had never met him reached out with open arms to help his family and friends heal, because just like his family, they loved him. They loved him for everything he did for them while he was on Earth. They felt a friendship with Higgins.
The power and inspiration a celebrity can give to others is indescribable. That is why when they pass away, it feels so surreal for the fans they had. It almost makes the fans feel like they’ve lost a part of themselves, a part of themselves that they know they’ll never get back because someone so important to them is now gone.