What Does Vin Diesel Have to Do With Communal Mourning?

When a celebrity dies, it’s hard to know how to process grief. Even if we didn’t know the person in real life, we often feel connected because of their work and look for a way to express our sadness.  

Of late, many researchers have been looking into the phenomenon known as “parasocial mourning,” paying particular attention to the way people mourn celebrities on social media. Action star Vin Diesel is just one example of someone using his celebrity to help fans mourn. 

Vin Diesel’s Facebook page, which launched in 2009, has since become one of the top three celebrity pages on Facebook. His frequent posts, which are mostly geared to his fans, feature visual material such as photos and videos of not only his public appearances but also his personal life. He’s more transparent that one might expect from a celebrity, and it’s not unusual to see members of his family featured on his page.  

In 2013, Diesel’s friend and Fast and Furious franchise co-star Paul Walker was killed in a high-speed car crash. The shocking and sudden death was especially tragic because Walker, 40, left behind a young teenage daughter. Walker was beloved by his friends and Fast and Furious costars who were very close knit, so it wasn’t surprising that they mourned publicly. A song was even commissioned in Walker’s honor for his last film, Furious 7, which was released in 2015. Many celebrities took to social media, especially Twitter, to mourn Walker’s passing.  

Vin Diesel soon became transparent in his mourning, using Facebook to share his grief and healing process. Immediately after the tragedy, he changed his cover photo to one that included his friend, and he posted an emotional tribute, quoting Scottish poet Thomas Campbell: “To live in the hearts we leave behind, is not to die.” 

Vin Diesel’s posts about Walker were not limited to the time immediately following the actor’s death. Rather, he’s continued to put up emotional content, including personal photos. Through Facebook, he has given fans permission to mourn with him and found a meaningful way to keep his friend’s memory alive.  

At Mountain View, we understand the power of technology in funerals, mourning and keeping alive the memories of lost loved ones. That’s why we offer online obituaries and tributes as well as Signature Services℠ such as internet webcasts and DVD memorial tributes. Call us at 253.948.9895 to learn more about how we can help you create a funeral service that honors the life your loved one lived.

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