When I started this blog, it was a goal for this space to be used to help people. I wanted to help with all things life throws our way, from seemingly small to life altering big. I wanted to share topics that might help improve someone’s day, from a word of encouragement, quick recipe for healthy dinner, or a beauty product to solve a problem. I’ve covered a wide range of topics, from teeth whitening to grief. So, it’s only fitting I share what’s on my heart now in hopes it might help someone else.
why it's ok to mourn the loss of someone you've never met. Remembering Kobe Bryant.
If you’ve been watching the news or scrolling social media, you have likely seen the tragic story of the helicopter accident which took the life of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others. When I heard the news on Sunday, January 26th at first I didn’t think it was real. My husband and I had just come inside from walking our dog and I checked my phone to see news alerts that Kobe was suspected to have passed. After hearing confirmation, I was in shock, but went about my day.
It wasn’t until later when I fully processed it, that it hit me. I obviously didn’t know Kobe personally, nor am I a former NBA player (or even basketball player for that matter), so why does this affect me?
For starters, watching the interviews, and tributes come in from other athletes, celebrities, newscasters and fans around the world…it is moving how many lives Kobe had touched. Kobe Bryant was an inspiration on and off the court. From his hard, never quit work ethic, to his love and adoration for his family. The old basketball footage brought back memories of watching the Lakers play on TV with my dad and Lolo. I was reminded of memories rooting for the Lakers, outnumbered by my friends in Ohio who had blind devotion to the Cavs (Cleveland sports fans…you know the pain!). It was a strange mix of nostalgia, longing for my childhood and grieving old loss.
It was later released Kobe Bryant’s daughter, Gianna was also on the helicopter and passed away with her father. At this news, my heart along with the rest of the world’s broke open. Being a Daddy’s girl myself, the special bond between a father and his daughter is hard to put into words…it’s something you feel deep in your heart. You can see the love and pride beaming from Kobe in all the photos of him and his girls. To know they were on their way to one of Gianna’s basketball games, where Kobe would coach…a special bond they shared, is both heartbreaking and beautiful.
What is the world of sports without Kobe?
Growing up in the era of Kobe, if you are around my age, you really don’t know sports without him. You grew up with kids trying to make a 3 pointer, whether it was in an actual basket, or throwing away your school lunch, yelling “KOBE!” You watched him win 5 NBA Championships with The Lakers, whom he spent is 20 year career with. Then you watched the basketball greats who came after him, praise him as an inspiration and reason why they got into the game. To have someone be so ingrained into our zeitgeist, and so suddenly be taken away is shocking, and it’s ok to feel a sense of loss.
It’s okay to feel loss…
It’s ok to feel a sense of loss over someone you didn’t know. A tragedy of this reach brings up different feelings and emotions for everyone. Maybe the passing of Kobe brings up feelings of old loss for you. Maybe you are feeling a sense of loss over what he made you feel or inspired you to do. Among many things this situation has made me feel is a sense of determination. Determination to not take this life lightly. You truly never know when your last moments may be. Hug someone you love, be kind to strangers, work hard, encourage others, and cut the bullshit.
At the end of the day, if you haven’t said “I love you,” to your loved ones, if you haven’t put your best effort forward, and if you have a dream you aren’t chasing…then wake up and try again friend, because our chances to do so are a limited edition special gift.
There were 7 others involved in this horrible, untimely accident. Their names are listed below, and this article from the Los Angeles Times helps to make their stories known. My heart hurts for all families affected, for the children who have one less parent, the parents who have one less child, the friends missing a companion, the siblings missing a partner in crime, I pray for you.