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The Public and Personal Pain of Celebrity Deaths

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Flowers and tributes are placed on the Star for Aretha Franklin on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California, August 16, 2018, after the music icon, legendary singer and 'Queen of Soul' loved by millions whose history-making career spanned six decades, died. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

As the nation mourns the loss of Aretha Franklin, some people find themselves surprised at the depth of their emotions. Forum discusses why the deaths of public figures and icons, whom most of us have never met, can inspire such grief. Whose loss left an impact on you – and how?


Jacque Lynn Foltyn, professor of sociology, National University


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