Last week Sunday a news alert popped up on my screen, NBA Legend, Kobe Bryant, had died in helicopter crash. I thought it was hoax nonetheless I was shocked because I couldn’t believe it. It was not even the last thought on my mind, it was not a thought at all. You know when you don’t expect something to happen, don’t even think about it, but it does…? Life flashes before your eyes and you process a rolodex of scenarios that could have led to this moment. Kobe Bryant’s death affected me more than I thought it could have, and I didn’t even know him, other than watching him play for the Lakers. I grew up watching Kobe and Shaq they were a joy to see, and on the court, better than Pippen and Jordan… I say that knowing I am a lifetime Micheal Jordan fan. They were special and I loved watching them play. His death crushed me, so much so, I sat down in my bedroom and cried for a time because it was and is still so incredibly sad. I could not believe it, I called my sister and cried some more because of how sad I felt at the death of someone I didn’t even know. Had no hope in hell of meeting or thought of ever meeting. I simply enjoyed knowing that he was alive, achieved a monumental thing in his sports career and went on to do other things like win an Oscar for his short movie about his love of basketball.

Compounded with this is the fact that his little girl Gianna was also a victim in the clash. Gianna took after Kobe on the court and by all intents and purposes was going to go on to become even better than her father. They would often go to basketball games and footage of him explaining the game to her dominated social media in the wake of their death, and it was a fresh wave of tears all over again.

This is a painful loss, not only for Vanessa Bryant and her three daughters, but also the families of those aboard the helicopter;

John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli,

Sarah and Payton Chester,

Christina Mauser,

Ara Zobayan, helicopter pilot

Death. It is such a final thing on the one end, but the pain goes on for those left behind to mourn the loss, everyday, to replay countless conversations and last words and to try to get up and go on… Still, we pray for the souls of all those departed and hold those who are left behind to deal with their loss, dear in our hearts and our prayers.