I know many people question, or don't understand, why the passing of a celebrity, someone we've never known personally, can have such an impact and touch someone as deeply as it does.
My feeling on that is this: Throughout our daily lives, we all deal with stress, strife, hardships. I don't know of a single soul who has not, at some point in their lives, felt like a misfit, an outcast, or alienated. Sometimes it's in adolescence, but I have found it is just as prevalent well into adulthood. Sometimes it never really goes away. Each person who feels that way finds their escape from a harsh reality in different ways. Some turn to their religion. Some turn to physical activity. Some seek therapy or counseling. Some take to drink and/or pharmaceuticals.
Then there are people like me- those of us who get lost in another world through books, music, film, theatre. It brings us a reprieve from the difficulties and bitterness of life. Sometimes it's our rich imaginations that transport us to that place, and usually, it's through the help of our favorite performers. These rare treasured people aid in the journey and, in their own way, ease our pains. They help us get lost, if only for a little while, in a place we can feel at peace, a place we belong, or maybe just a place where we can forget about everything else for a while. Books do this for me. Music does this for me. Films do this for me.
This is why the loss of Bowie, Rickman, Nimoy, Craven, Piper, Lemmy, Cole, etc. hurts us like it does and, god, it hurts like hell.
No, we didn't know them, but damn if it doesn't feel like they knew us.