When the Famous die

Death in the media is very visible and can have a huge social impact. The way in which the public can mourn collectively was seen when the nation grieved for Diana Princess of Wales. When someone famous dies it can be reported heavily in the press, especially if it is a young person who is in the public eye. The media can influence our view of death which can lead to fear and anxiety as they can be seen as real life examples. Equally, the death of someone famous can bring back feelings of personal loss. Social media can change the way we grieve creating a sense that we knew the person and making their death more personal.

death by murder or suicide

In certain circumstances, such as murder or suicide in a public place, the death of a private individual may generate media attention. This is a difficult and often distressing experience when trying to grieve someone close to you. You may feel you have lost your private relationship with the person who has died and may feel that they are being spoken about unkindly or inaccurately.


  • To remember that you do have the right to your privacy and should not feel pressurised to talk to anyone, other than police or investigating authorities
  • Set firm boundaries with people letting them know if you do not want to discuss details
  • Try not to read the press,  watch the news or follow posts on social media
  • Let the police know if you feel you are being harassed
  • If you begin to feel that the level of media attention is too intrusive, you can also notify the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) to raise a complaint

The Grief Encounter helpline, grieftalk can be contacted from 9am – 9pm Monday to Friday. The grieftalk helpline number is 0808 802 0111, or you can chat online or even email us now, we are here to listen.