08/02/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

On (Public) Death and Dying

Ed, Farrah, Michael, Billy (Mays) and soon, Walter: we mourn the deaths of these celebrities as if they are old friends or family. My dear friend and 9/11 widow Nikki Stern knows a thing or two about this unique sort of communal grief appropriation.

She says "We humans seem to need to participate in the (for lack of a better word) pageantry of a public mourning process. Perhaps we find immersing ourselves in the deaths of others is cathartic; a "safe" way to mourn for ourselves.

But she makes an excellent point in asking:

Do we relate more to the loss of a pop star or TV fantasy than we do to starving children around the world?

Read the full article:

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