For Christina Grimmie (and possibly myself)

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I want to write about the death of Christina Grimmie. Because it's been affecting me much more than I imagined. For the past three, four days, I've gone through the five stages of grief (actually I'm still in the middle of it as I am overwhelmed with sadness). It's been affecting my work and my studies. I need to write this out. I don't think I will be able to function properly if I don't. So this is a post for Christina Grimmie and also to save myself from drowning in thoughts.

For one thing, I need to pinpoint why  her death has had such a big influence on me? I only casually watched her videos from time to time. Is is partly due to nostalgia? I started watching Youtube videos 10 years ago, around the time the site was created. She started uploading in 2009 and her online history of song covers goes way before then. She was one of the first people I watched on Youtube back when it wasn't as saturated with aspiring artists. She was big. She was one of the originals. I thought her vocals were great back then but compared to now, when I rewatch her videos, I notice just how amazing she really was. She had great control over her voice, added personal touches to her covers, learned to play by ear. She wasn't simply another person who covered other people's songs; She was an artist in her own right. Evolved from a fan to becoming a musician herself.

 Maybe that's why her death has impacted me so much. Because I associated her as someone close to me personally. Through social media, even the shortest video or smallest glimpse of someone's life can make you feel closer. More connected, less alone. I never truly did know her in person and I'm not sure if she would count as a friend. She and many other online personalities are something entirely of their own. What affects me the most, I think, is the fact that she loved music. When Adsense had just became a thing on Youtube and people were jumping on the money making bandwagon, Christina didn't. I specifically remember this because with her subscriber and view count at the time, it was a little strange not to take advantage of this opportunity. It registered in my mind that she wasn't doing this for the money; she was doing it for the music. That thought alone, made her more likable, admirable. (I could be terribly wrong and the reason may have been copyright issues or whatever but I'm going to hold to that thought anyways).

As a person whose life heavily values music, I empathize with anyone whose life also involves music. Maybe it was the connection that she was trying to pursue her passion of music that really got to me. When I see other Youtubers who tweet about her passing and then go on making videos soon after and continuing their daily life, I feel a little sadder. But who am I to judge how someone else grieves. And when other people ask me why I'm crying over someone I didn't even know, I don't know how to respond. Because I can empathize? No, it's not just that. It's because I'm angry about gun control laws. I'm angry about why a male fan feels entitled to murder a female artist. I'm angry and I'm frustrated and I'm tired.

I want change. We need change.

I just hope it happens soon because it's already too late.

Dear Christina,

There's one more star up in the night sky tonight but here, the air is a lot heavier and the view a lot blurrier through tears. The world is much quieter without you here and that is a world I simply wouldn't choose. You are greatly loved and missed.

Sincerely, Polaris