Comprehending Grief in a Non-Comprehensive World.

      ‘Dearly beloved we are gathered here today to get through this thing called GRIEF’



Recently I have been quietly observing the outpour of grief around the world by fans of musical icon Prince. As a long-term fan I have noticed an influx of commentary on certain FB pages by people astonished by the poor reactions from family and friends who have ‘berated’, ‘mocked’ or ‘belittled’ them for expressing their grief for our late Prince. It seems that society can not comprehend the attachment one forms to an artist and their body of art. Society struggles to accept that this grief is real even when it has been experienced by millions of people across all continents since his death on April 21st, 2016.

I understand these reactions because I have also felt them too. My reaction to Prince’s death has re-triggered for me the feelings I have felt from previous losses in my life (death and non-death) and the feeling one gets when they are in active mourning – this aftermath of grief can include feelings of great sadness, waves of emotions, psychosomatic complaints and ‘grief attacks’.

To integrate this loss we must examine the genesis behind these emotions. Many fans have followed Prince’s career since his beginning in the musical limelight (1978) to more recently his ‘Piano and Microphone’ tour. Prince has been an investment for many kindred souls; the upside to this is that he never disappointed his fans, we were always privileged with new music and indirectly spiritual guidance, his deep seeded compassion was felt through the speakers that ignited in us those ‘feel good’ chemicals in our brains responsible for healthy well being and ‘natural highs’. Thus, this sorrow for Prince is now associated  with the sad acceptance that this genius no longer walks amongst us – there will be no more new music – no more concerts or ‘after parties’ – No more ‘behind the scene’ charity fundraisers and NO MEMOIR which for fans was to be the highlight of his career.

In summary, I want to re-assure his masses of fans that this grief has a name and it is real, for those who don’t understand we must educate. This grief is ‘disenfranchised’ and not recognised by society in whole and most likely never will! It’s not validated nor seen as a ‘natural’ response to loss because it is indirect, in other words – people do not recognise this loss due to our poor association with the deceased. People can not see the correlation between our grief and the reactions we have for someone we never knew (Even if we all felt a connection to him emotionally).

To read more about this in detail please click here:

Thus, continuing to grieve for Prince must be encouraged. The more people connect with their grief the more they feel validated to accept that these emotions are real and a process that needs to organically happen to fully understand and make meaning of such a loss and void in our hearts.

People coming together in their grief promotes well being and acceptance. It enables people to feel comforted and enables healing to take place. Just like the music we must listen to each other’s laments and VALIDATE the raw emotion associated with this loss.




‘Paisley Park is in your heart’ – A rainbow offered many fans a symbol of hope on the morning of Prince’s death. Paisley Park instantaneously became a public shrine in Prince’s memory by fans all across the world’.



Even in death Prince has enabled people of all creeds to unite together in recognition of his enormous visions and endless creative genius…. Mourning together creates a space of acceptance and the ability to be with others on the same grief journey as ourselves.

WE MUST REMEMBER that Prince existed as does our love and passion for him. In death we must continue to idolise him from afar because in our hearts he has always been near. We don’t need to call no shrink in Beverly Hills because we are not going nuts! Prince’s family are his fans and we are ALL connected by a purple umbilical cord – No one can separate us from his musical womb – we will always remain attached.


Rest In Prince

1958 – 2016


Written by Janice Butera.

Follow me on my FB page: My Bereavement Companion.




Devout fan of life's little treasures.

4 thoughts on “Comprehending Grief in a Non-Comprehensive World.

  1. Thank U so very very much! Prince has been my musical soul mate for the past 35 years. I saw him in concert a week before he passed in Atlanta. I am having such a hard time with this but it helps to know that others understand. Thank you. Sending you and everyone love. Prince, eye wish U heaven…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How wonderful to have people like you in the world dawnlw. It is a struggle to accept his death, we must recognise this grief and mourn together. I saw Prince twice only in February myself – His death has come as an absolute shock to us all… Take care Janice


  2. Beautiful words Janice. Thank you so much for that beautiful eulogy for Prince. I felt the loss differently to Bowie, but feel the loss never the less. Prince’s music, in the form of sound and vision has been a powerful way to deal with the loss including watching my “Purple Rain” DVD and again marveling over it’s brilliance( one of my favorite albums of all time) and the healing through listening to albums like “The Rainbow Children.” I never had the privilege of seeing Prince live, but have always planned to when I had the money.
    I think of how great you said the two recent shows you went to were, and the discussion we have about him and It almost seems impossible that he is now no longer on the earth. Like Bowie he was larger than life, so enlightened and next level got what it felt to be different, harnessed that and made us feel so touched by his humanity conveyed through his art.
    My thoughts are with you, and even as I write this I am listening to the purple one and appreciating his gifts like never before.
    Hope you are as ok as you can be.


    1. Hello Josh, I really appreciate your heartfelt words. Yes, Prince was larger than life and his music was a saviour for so many (like Bowie). It’s still very surreal and sad for me. The saddens stems from knowing that his life was cut short and that he died alone. I hope you are travelling well. I have been listening to ‘Into the light’ from the Chaos and Disorder CD on rotation. This song now has extra meaning for me. Take care Josh and thank you again for your kind words.


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