As we all know by now, actor Robin Williams died by suicide earlier this week. Sadly, his passing comes on the heels of other departures by famous people like Maya Angelou, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Shirley Temple and Paul Walker to name just a few. And while death always catches our attention, sometimes it also causes us to catch our breath—especially when it strikes those we consider too young. Yet the truth is, we don’t know these people. Our only connection to them comes from highly filtered stories from the media. So what is it that triggers the widespread mourning that so many feel when tragedy hits our celebrities? Here are nine reasons I found that might help to explain the phenomenon.