Many people who watch “BUCKWILD” felt as if they got to know 21-year-old Shain Gandee like a friend and were shocked to learn about his unexpected passing. MTV Act is as sad as the rest of the MTV family, and we spoke with Courtney Knowles, spokesperson for the Jed Foundation about tips on dealing with loss.
“In situations like this, where people feel really bad but might not have known the individual, I think the first thing to say is that it’s okay to acknowledge you’re hurting,” Courtney said. “If you feel really sad and have a hard time shaking the feelings, that’s okay. It’s a normal process to have, even when someone dies who we don’t know.”
Everyone grieves differently. If you continue to feel upset after several days and you’re having trouble getting on with your life, Courtney said it’s okay to talk to someone. You can always reach out to a trained counselor through the number 1-800-273-TALK, and you might be able to speak with a counselor at your school or community center. Courtney also recommends choosing positive coping methods, like exercising or hanging out with friends.
If your friends are also having a hard time, Courtney recommends reaching out to them. “Even if you don’t know the person who died, it can cause a lot of pain.”
So if the news has really gotten to you, you’re not the only one. “I think that with a lot of these shows, you’re getting to know the people,” Courtney said. “We see aspects of ourselves or we find them endearing like someone we met in real life. People definitely get attached.”
With Shain it was easy to get attached. He was the breakout star of "BUCKWILD" -- every second he was on screen he made all of us laugh, smile or do both. Shain had the best one liners ("I was actually the prom king at my high school, and I wasn't even at the prom.") and the genuine devotion he had to his family (he lived 3 doors away from his parents) and friends (In particular, his puppy love crush on Cara Parrish) made him even more affable. We all have a friend like Shain -- hilarious and big-hearted -- or want a friend just like him. We are sending our thoughts to his family, friends and fans saddened by this immeasurable loss.
For more help dealing with loss, you can always check out Half of Us.