Commemorating the life of actor Luke Perry

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On Mar. 4, beloved television actor, Luke Perry, tragically passed away at the age of 52.

The internet collectively mourned the loss of the former 90s heartthrob and small-screen Riverdale star by expressing their shock and sharing their condolences across social media.

And if social media can be good for something, it’s commemorating the work of someone who deserves to be remembered for the impact they left during their lifetime.

Luke Perry became a teen icon during the run of Beverly Hills, 90210 for his role as the broody Dylan McKay, cementing his place in pop culture and television history.

More recently, fans would recognize and will remember Perry for his portrayal of Fred Andrews, the supportive father of Archie and the moral compass of Riverdale.

Whenever a respected celebrity passes away, the goodness of that person takes full focus (as it usually should), and with Perry, it seems to be entirely genuine.

I have yet to read one negative thing about the kind of person the actor was, and it fits with the last television role he played; someone who was kind, humble and loving.

The loss of someone influential, especially when it’s quite sudden and at a young age, will be felt by those who appreciated their influence.

People often criticize the fans of celebrities for mourning human beings they never “really” knew and for using their deaths as moments to express their grief over their passing.

I do realize that no, most of the people on the internet posting about a famous person’s death did not actually know them personally, but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be able to voice their remorse and sympathy for someone who had an influence on their lives — even if that was through the fictional characters they portrayed.

And while it is always important to respect the privacy of the individual’s family and friends who are grieving their loved one — as Cole Sprouse politely did during an interview with James Corden on The Late Late Show where he kept his comments about Perry very sweet, but brief — acknowledging the legacy of someone who gave the world positivity and memorable work isn’t a bad thing.

As much as I like Call Me By Your Name actor Armie Hammer, he shared a comment surrounding this topic when Stan Lee died that rubbed me — and many other people on the internet — the wrong way.

He said in a now deleted and since apologized for tweet: “So touched by all of the celebrities posting pictures of themselves with Stan Lee. No better way to commemorate an absolute legend than putting up a picture of yourself.”

Commemorating the loss of another human being, whether it’s through a photo of something connected to their professional work or a picture that was taken with them through a chance meeting, is equally as valid.

As long as the focus is on the person who is no longer with us, why does it matter?

For an actor like Luke Perry who shaped the lives of so many teens during the 90s and gained a resurgence of fans through his work on Riverdale, I’m sure it would mean something to him that so many people loved and admired him for the impact his career had on them.

The loss of someone influential, especially when it’s quite sudden and at a young age, will be felt by those who appreciated their influence.

And even though social media is far, far from perfect, I think this is one of the few things that can make it positive — collectively sharing the love and respect people have for someone who is no longer with us.

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