Self Care: What we should take away from Mac Miller and Ariana Grande

Mac Miller’s death on September 7this still heavy on the hearts of his many fans. In a lot of ways, the loss of the soulfulrapper has forced us to take a longer look at the ways in which we treat one another and ourselves. 

When the news first hit, it was a shock. I remember very clearly running out of my room and telling all my roommates right away. None of us could believe it. It was a celebrity death that was hurtful in a new way. It almost felt like the passing of an old friend we’d lost touch with and it became clear in the next few days that others were feeling the same way. It seemed like I couldn’t scroll down any timeline on social media without being smacked with the “rest in peace” and “forever in our hearts” posts by both fans and other celebrities. 

However, when some new media outlets reported his death with some variation of the headline “Ariana Grande’s ex- boyfriend Mac Miller dead at 26,” the posts and comments took a negative turn. People were offended by the relation, insisting that it was uncalled for and disrespectful to the rapper’s legacy. Others were taking to social media to outright blame Ariana Grande, commenting things like “Mac killer” and “This your fault and you know it” under her pervious posts. It became so overwhelming that she had to disable the comments on her Instagram. Quickly people came to her defense and recently conversations about what a women’s responsibility to a relationship has emerged online.  

In fact, I remember reading back in May Ariana’s clap back to a tweet that suggested she was to blame for Mac’s car crash and DUI. She informed the world that her decision to leave the relationship was due to his toxic habits was for her own well-being. "I am not a babysitter or a mother and no woman should feel that they need to be. I have cared for him and tried to support his sobriety & prayed for his balance for years (and always will of course) but shaming/blaming women for a man's inability to keep his s**t together is a very major problem," said Grande. Yet, when he died, people continued to place the same blame on her shoulders. Insisting that she was the sole reason behind his apparent overdose because she had moved on and was happy with someone else. 

For days her silence and other celebrities’ tributes kept the weight of Mac’s death on my mind. I couldn’t shake the fact that he would be mourned forever. When she finally spoke out on September 14thin a heartbreaking post on Instagram, every woman seemed to cry for her. The tragedy of the situation wasn’t foreign to us. Many of us can understand how hard a break up with someone can be but not all of us know the difficulty of it being magnified by drug abuse, and rehabilitation. Somehow though, Ariana came out of the relationship and was able to move on. I could understand how placing herself before the person she loved was difficult. Though I was among those who were rooting for her and Mac’s relationship, after she was open about why they had to split, I felt for her. I have been in that type of situation before and choosing your own wellness and needs can be trying. After she went public with her engagement, I’m sure she assumed the hard times were behind her and that even though it may have seemed sudden to others, she would be able to relax into her new-found happiness. 

Unfortunately, on September 7th, that became a dream. She’s living through what many would describe as a nightmare. To breakup with someone you fought so long for and have them die so suddenly after seems unfathomable. I have always been frightened of what Ariana is going through now. Personally, I’ve always had a fear of going to sleep angry or of holding grudges; scared that something terrible might happen and that angry words would be the last thing I said to someone. I am hopeful that she, after announcing that her Sweetener tour has been pushed back so that she would can focus on her wellbeing, will come back rested and herself. But for now, I know that I will still be heartbroken for what seems like a Shakspearian tragedy come to life. 

For a fan of both artists, this time has been eye-opening and distressing. My heart will always go out to the family and friends of those who are close to people with substance abuse issues. I know some people would like to believe that the “stand by your man” attitude always applies, but a person can only give so much before they must decide to stop ignoring their own feelings. I think that we all need to be a little more sympathetic to those who are struggling within a relationship and realize that it is okay to consider yourself and see that we have very little influence over how other people react to things. I don’t think we’ll ever forget Mac’s death and Ariana’s trials but for now, we’ll continue to listen to their music and know that without each other’s influence, we might not have some of our favorite songs. 

Though every situation is different, we were able to watch Grande and Miller’s relationship unfold over the past 2 years and hopefully learn two key things from them: Substance abuse is serious and that we, as people, can only do so much.