I Don’t Know You, but I Love You

Here’s to the people we love without actually knowing them


It was May 11, around 11:30am. I was scrolling through my twitter feed as usual but stopped when a tweet caught my attention. “@TrevorMoran: I am so heartbroken.” At the time, I didn’t know why I stopped on this tweet and I didn’t know why I felt so compelled to open the tweet and read the replies but I did. The first tweet at the top of the thread sent a cold unwanted pain to my chest. “RIP Corey La Barrie.” I began to search deeper into the tweets, my heart breaking more and more. It was true, the guy I had spent countless hours watching on YouTube, the guy who had made me laugh when I was sad, the guy who put a smile on my face without even knowing it had passed away.

It’s so easy to dismiss the death of a famous person when you know nothing but their name. Sure you may see the small tribute to them on the news and think, “wow that’s sad,” or “that sucks for their family.” But sometimes it hits you like a ton of bricks. Whether it’s a musician, athlete, actor, or even a YouTuber, if you have spent any of your time listening to that person’s music or watching that person’s content, the fact that the person is not with us anymore is going to hit you. How hard it hits depends on you.

It was January 26 when the death of Kobe Bryant along with his daughter and seven other victims shocked the world. Fans of Bryant spoke to the news about how it just didn’t feel real and they could not believe it. Amongst those fans were a few people who admitted to never having watched basketball but they knew of his legacy and were still distraught over his death.

Some people may say, “how can you be sad over someone you never knew?” Well, it’s actually normal because that famous person we are mourning over is tied to a certain memory. For example, you may have found out you were pregnant with your first child on a day Kobe Bryant won a game. A song by Prince may have been playing at the bar when you first met the love of your life. Or it could be something as simple as laying in your bed on a Saturday night, zoned out listening to Mac Miller.

When a famous person dies it sometimes feels like a little part of us died with them. The memories you have because of that person do not die but as WellandGood.com explains, “Our innocences dies with them.”

We felt like we knew this person even though we didn’t. In some cases, we grew up with this person and in other cases this person almost feels immortal. If you are one of those people who shows sadness and emotion over the death of a celebrity don’t let anyone tell you that the sadness you are feeling is invalid. Those feelings matter.