One thing that always surprises me about the concept of death, is that we always remember where we were when someone we admire passes away. Don’t believe me? Ask someone where they were when Michael Jackson died in 2009. My Aunt (a very die-hard Michael Jackson fan) could probably recount that entire day, while I can’t even remember what I was wearing earlier this week.
But I remember exactly where I was when I found out that Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna Bryant, lost their lives to a fatal helicopter crash. I can distinctly remember that I was in the back of a friend’s car processing the news and searching my Twitter for confirmation. Millions of thoughts were rushing through my head, but one thing that really resonated with me at that moment was that death is ruthless but also a fact of life. This is evident every time we lose someone close to us and forget to recognize how blessed we are to be alive. I, for one, will never forget screaming, “KOBE!”, after shooting a paper ball into a trash can during finals week to get my mind off of stress and lingering obligations.
Death has always had a way of reminding us of our own mortality, but it also reminds us to live our lives authenticity. A part of me will always believe that those who change the world are those that live in their truth and instantly assume a position of leadership by doing so. I think that individuals like Kobe Bryant could be compared to a light in a dark room. This is apparent through his abilities as an athlete and a father, which made him a true example of strength and humility. Especially in terms of the children who may not have had a positive role model growing up, Kobe may have been that person for that child. It may be why his death is so incomprehensible for some basketball fans. And the more I see Kobe and his daughter’s face on the news, the tighter I want to hold those closest to me because there is one thing that we can all agree on; Life is too short. But I can only hope that through this experience we can learn to appreciate life and the little things.
How has this tragedy made you feel? How do you process death and mortality?