Grieving for someone you never met is a kind of sadness that comes with a big dose of shame and guilt, for many of us. We’re quick to dismiss our own feelings because we didn’t really “know” the person, and we might even feel bad for feeling anything at all. It’s as though we’re not entitled to to be upset, like knowing someone personally earns you the “right” to mourn their loss, and anyone who hasn’t earned it should feel embarrassed or awkward.
This is stupid of course, but it’s all I can think about when I read the endless messages from Giant Bomb fans admitting, often with a note of extreme self-consciousness, to the tears they’ve shed this week. I guess some of that can be chalked up to all that boys-don’t-cry nonsense, but I think there’s even more to it.