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Grappling With Grief Over Someone I Didn't Know

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My battle with depression has been a long one, and each day I encounter new things I need to overcome. Although I have come a long way, my emotions are uncontrollable sometimes.

After I heard the tragic news of singer Christina Grimmie’s passing, I was immediately shocked. I’d grown up listening to her beautiful covers with my uncle. When I first heard the news, I was met with sadness, but most of all, anger. I kept asking myself, “Why would someone do this to such a kind person?,” but obviously, I’ll never know the answer.

Two days after, I spent a whole day crying. I listened to a number of her covers, and her voice resonated with my soul. I felt guilt for not keeping up-to-date with her career anymore. Last I’d heard of her was when she had entered “The Voice.” I was so proud. Proud of a person I did not know.

The pain behind my tears was depressing. I could feel my heart physically ache, and I do not know why. Yes, I did feel as though she was a friend, but ultimately, she wasn’t. But her personality made it feel like all her fans were her family, and that is the tragedy. She was truly an amazing and kind person who did not deserve such an ending. Her success had just started to bloom, she deserved a life of music, and instead, her life ended with murder.

I can recall another time I felt an uncontrollable amount of sadness and heartbreak. A few years ago, a person my age died by suicide. I’d only met her a couple of times. Yet when I heard she had taken her life, I was crushed. I was surrounded by people who knew her, but again, I was (and still am) confused as to why it hit me so hard. I would have full-on breakdowns just thinking about her. It made me feel silly, because why was I feeling that pain? She didn’t even know my name, yet I cried as if she had been my lifelong best-friend.

My therapist explained to me it was perhaps due to the similarities. She played the piano, as did I. Back then I was in a dark place, so again, a similarity.  Still, I felt extremely uncomfortable crying for someone I essentially did not know.

My question now is how is it that I am much better than before, yet I am still sucked into a deep hole of darkness each time someone I do not know dies? Yes, I know death is a sad thing, but being sad and broken are two different things. And I was/am broken about it. I find it hard to handle these situations. Being in bed all day because I couldn’t stop crying made it worse; it felt like I had no one to talk to, because I couldn’t even explain what I was feeling other than despair and sorrow. I couldn’t explain why, and I still can’t. I feel helpless, because I am. I cannot express myself because I seem to have forgotten how. And everywhere I look there is an article about Christina or a video of her that just breaks me a bit more each time. I know in a week my feelings will fade out, but this is bound to happen again.

I am left feeling a sense of mystery. Will these feelings diminish? Or am I bound to a life of uncontrollable grief? Is this simply a side affect of depression, or is it just my personality?

If you or someone you know needs help, see our suicide prevention resources.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Originally published: June 13, 2016
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