You may ask how a person, or thousands of people around the world, can be grieving Kobe Bryant, or a person they never "knew." They didn't have his phone number and text with him; they didn't grab a beer after work with him, or get a Christmas card from him.
A. Don't judge a person's feelings. You don't know. Every person has a right to feel how they feel without being mocked or ridiculed.
B. Sports stars are already heroes to so many people. They've given some sort of inspiration or motivation in young times or tough times, and then these days with social media, people often do feel intimately connected.
C. Then there's the empathy of what has happened to someone else, i.e., the family left behind and what it has to deal with. Many may be heartbroken imagining what Vanessa Bryant, Kobe's wife, is faced with.
Dr. Wendy talks more about mourning while also trying to be a parent. The world seems fine while your world has fallen apart. How do you make lunches, give baths and schedule dentist appointments when all you want to do is crumble? You'll need to ask for help and be specific about what kind of help you want. Most of all, listen to your kids because they're mourning too and they need an outlet.
As a friend, Dr. Wendy suggests letting the mourner set the tone. If he or she seems to be having a good day, don't drag them back down. Allow them to have a mental recess. The brain needs to recharge and reorganize.