I’m sitting in my chair in front of my computer and a microphone, still trying to make it make sense. Nine people died in a helicopter crash that killed NBA legend Kobe Bryant, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. Before I go any further, I think it’s important for us to remember Kobe’s wife Vanessa, their other three daughters, and the family and friends of everyone else who died in the crash. With the whole world watching, they will need all our thoughts and prayers to get through this.
This is a moment that we will all remember where we were when we heard the news. I was on my couch watching Hallmark movies and scrolling through Instagram when I saw someone post RIP Kobe. That was a moment I’ll never forget. It was almost like my heart stopped and I had to catch my breath. Kobe? Kobe Bryant? Dead? It didn’t make sense, and then the confirmations started coming out. It still didn’t make sense, when we were hit with another wave of shock finding out his 13-year-old daughter Gianna was lost in the crash as well.
I’m not even sure what I want to say here, because my thoughts are all over the place, even the morning after. I have a lump in my throat and an ache in my stomach that hasn’t gone away since I got the news. And it wasn’t because I was a huge Kobe fan, or even a big basketball fan. Kobe’s death drives home the realities that life is short and no one, not even the rich and famous, is promised tomorrow.
As the news continued to circulate on social media, the waves of grief kept coming. Pictures and video of Kobe, Gianna, and his family twisted the knife in further and had some of us thinking of our own families and mortality. I mean, just last week, Kobe and Gianna became a meme as a video of them sitting courtside talking.
I hope that this tragic event will remind us to let our loved ones know exactly how much they mean to us, and to be thankful every day for what we do have. It’s not easy. We live in a hard world and there are a lot of things that can make us hard as well. I pray that we try to fight against the things that make us hard and hold our loved ones closer.
The words “thoughts and prayers” have started to ring hollow with a lot of people as we throw it out there in the face of tragedy, but then go right back to our lives and often negativity. But really, make today’s thoughts and prayers not just words, but actions to help these grieving families get through the hardest days of their lives.