If you didn’t know, Notre-Dame cathedral burned on Monday.
I was beyond heartbroken when I found out. And that whole day was a mess as I followed along the live news for hours and cried. I listened to the Broadway album of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and the cathedral’s actual church bells on YouTube. And I stared at the pictures I took myself of Notre-Dame when I went to Paris. I felt such grief for this place.
Something about me, Notre-Dame is one of my favorite buildings. I feel a deep connection to this place, though I have near-never visited. Its architecture, its beauty, its history, its significance, I love it all. It was important to me.
Then Monday came around. Of course, I mentioned my grief on Facebook, as someone would do. Someone mentioned me why I was so upset. I explained what a significant place Notre-Dame is. They came back with, ‘But that’s nothing to cry about. Yeah, it’s sad, but you’ve been there once. It’s not like you’re there everyday.’
Now, I was not upset with this friend, despite their insensitivity. Sometimes people don’t understand the significance a person or place has on them. It’s no less than grieving over the death of a celebrity. One of my best friends was a mess over David Bowie’s death because he played a big role in her life, even if she never met him.
So, my advice is when someone is upset about the death of a celebrity or the burning of a building, do not treat it lightly. They have a reason they’re upset; find out what part that person or place played in their lives and development.
I’m still a blob over the burning of Notre-Dame, even if it didn’t burn to the ground.