I had an entirely different blog post in mind that I will still write at a later date. As I write this, it has been 24 hours since the death of Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter and seven others in a helicopter crash. I found out from my cousin while I was sitting in my car working. I tapped into the wifi of a nearby building to verify the news and was stunned.
I sat in my car with tears rolling down my face and I couldn’t understand why. I even sent a text to my high school boyfriend, who was obsessed with Kobe for years, and he expressed his own sadness and disbelief. The last time I cried over a celebrity death was when I found out Prince died and I heard Purple Rain playing on the radio. Again, no idea why these deaths hit as hard as they did.
Let me be clear. I was not a fan of Kobe’s. I actually didn’t have an opinion of him one way or another. I didn’t and still don’t watch basketball and I have no affiliations with L.A. And yet I found myself crying off and on for the rest of the day. Why?
Athletics and philanthropy aside, I mourned the family aspect of things. No matter if you liked him or hated him, my tears were less for him and more for the wife, children, and loved ones he left behind. I cried for that seven-month-old baby who will never know her daddy. For his 17-year-old who won’t see her father at her volleyball games anymore. For the three-year-old who may not understand what’s going on but will still miss her daddy picking her up and smothering her with kisses. And for that wife who has to bury her child.
If you’ve ever seen Steel Magnolias, when Sally Field is forced to bury her daughter she says “I was supposed to go first. I was always supposed to go first.” No parent should ever feel the pain of losing a child. And for Vanessa Bryant to also lose her husband is an entirely different layer of grief.
If you’ve followed me long enough, you know that I love my babies but I also LOVE my husband. The plan is always to grow old together and when that dream is taken from you, you don’t know what to do. You feel cheated and unsure how you will live this new life without your best friend, your partner by your side.
And for the other people who were killed in the accident, they have to now face life without their father, mother, sister, teammate, etc. No one was prepared for this, and I think that’s another reason why it hit me as hard as it did.
I am sad and I feel for everyone who had that connection with Kobe, whether real or imagined, and like everyone else, I will seize every opportunity to hug my hubby and babies tight to me.