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EDIT: I wrote this post after hearing about the death of internet reviewer Justin Carmical, aka JewWario.
Isn’t it odd how we react to the deaths of people we don’t know, or know of but have never met? There’s always the sense of sadness, but it’s often just a fleeting frown or sigh. If the person was infamous for some misdeed (or we just didn’t like them to begin with), there may be a feeling of triumph (maybe quickly followed by guilt because deep down you know such mean-spiritedness is wrong).
Other times you find yourself as deeply affected as if it was someone you’ve know all your life. Something about who the person was, or what they were known for, or maybe you discover you had a friend or acquaintance in common and realize how close you could have been to meeting that person. Maybe there’s some similarity you can see between yourself and that person that strikes a chord.
And you grieve.
Your grief confuses others around you, and even yourself. Why should I take it so hard? You didn’t know them.
But now you never will.
Maybe that’s what causes it. Your sense of loss comes from knowing that your life could have had that little extra something if you had ever had a chance to meet that person. Maybe nothing would have changed. Maybe life would never be the same.
But now you’ll never know.
And you grieve.
Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. –Matthew 5:3