In the wake of Peaches Geldof's sudden and shocking death, people have begun to inappropriately speculate about the cause. Hours after her passing on Monday, the comments section on her Instagram account began filling up with cryptic messages. The young woman was a loving mother who connected with fans by posting slews of photos of her sweet children Phaedra and Astala, but now, things have taken a dark turn.
Many have posted harmless "RIP" sentiments on her Instagram pics, but many more have posted horrible rumors. "Drug overdose or suicide?," one comment asks. "Ominous," another comment reads on an old photo that Geldof posted of her and her mother, Paula Yates, who died from a drug overdose when Geldof was 11. It would be sick in any circumstance, but on photos of Geldof's mother and children, the nasty comments seem even more violating then ever.
Speculation about celebrity death is nothing new, but it is made stranger in the age of Instagram. In a world where you can tweet at a celebrity that is no longer with us, it brings up the notion of participation. Geldof shared photos of her life and her children with the world willingly, yes, but that does not mean that all barriers of decorum should be erased. Just because a celebrity is bold enough to be that accessible and converse with their fans doesn't give people the unencumbered right to use those social media venues to make crass comments and value judgments about the kind of woman, mother, or person that Geldof was.
Geldof grew up in the public eye, but it's a travesty that that sense of transparency as a celebrity is spilling into her death. Her husband, father and children deserve the peace of mind and respect of silence, rather than speculation about what kind of life Geldof led and, worse even, what kind of death took her.
May she rest in peace.