The death of Paul Walker was news that broke on social media, and it’s often social media that gives us a glimpse into some intensely private and intensely human moments we’d not likely witness otherwise — like Tyrese Gibson’s raw reaction upon visiting the place where his co-star and buddy lost his life.
Celebs like Tyrese are not people we know, certainly, at least not the way we know friends. But Paul Walker’s death in such a sad way at such a young age made a lot of people feel not only mournful for the loss of the popular Fast Furious actor, but mindful of similar tragedies they’d endured. In a moment such as that, we’re all the same grieving human family, familiar with the same horrible process of unimaginable sadness.
Sure, we didn’t know Paul Walker, but Tyrese did. And much like when celebrities are forced to sit through a horrible life event in the public eye, Gibson was compelled to see the spot where a man to whom he was close and worked on several films with had died — something many of us can probably say we’ve experienced.
Tyrese was not alone, given Walker’s celebrity and unexpected demise. And so many cameras caught Gibson in a moment of unguarded grief and horror, an image so touching and sad it was shared across the social web almost instantly:
— Naomi Leanage (@Naomi_ML) December 2, 2013
Tyrese Gibson at the Paul Walker crash scene, didn’t say anything just cried. Most emotional picture I’ve seen. pic.twitter.com/yIGlGm3zHO
— Mayweather Jr. (@Kashaveli_) December 1, 2013
Tyrese Gibson’s reaction to Paul Walker’s death and its broadcast may have been somewhat intrusive, but it also speaks to the depths through which social media allows us to connect even with people we only know of, not people we know intimately.