There Goes My Hero

Why the death of childhood heroes are so impactful


Photo by Mac Fleming IV

A gravestone that represents what a person who has affected many people positively on a large scale takes with them when they pass. – Made in Canva

Among the many facets of adolescence that shape who a person will become, not many are more important than the entertainment that people experience during their early stages of development. And those associated with that entertainment then become incredibly important to people.

There are more important parts, such as traumas, genetic dispositions and just the parenting of the people raising them in general; yet some of the most important experiences in childhood are associated with how children entertain themselves. And those experiences create a link between the child who is being entertained and the people behind it all.

Take children who were obsessed with sports or just had more than a passing interest in sports. If they have a favorite player, everything that player does is another memorable experience that the child who is cheering for them will hold close to heart.

Every touchdown, every basket and every goal will be a moment that will bring them joy simply because that is their favorite player, the person they chose to connect with when enjoying a game they love.

So, when something happens to that player, whether it is just the player retiring or it is something tragic happening to them, that child who has put so much of their heart into rooting for or defending that person now has to love with the fact that the things they have come to expect from that player will never be the same, even though the prior experiences exist in earnest.

This is so significant because every person had an experience like this as a child, especially people who are younger since they have had less time to disconnect from the experiences of their young adolescence. Musicians, actors, athletes, authors and directors can all have this effect on people since they all gave them a moment that was incredibly important to them at the right time.

This leads to an inevitable sadness when these people die or are unable to continue to do what they have done for years because these people mean something to so many people. Obviously, everyone means something to someone else, but this is different because when a man or woman who shaped the childhood of an entire generation passes away, a part of that childhood goes with them.