The reason why Kobe Bryant’s news hit different and the charge he left us

Written the afternoon of Sunday, January 26 2020

Days like today, I want to cancel my Comcast package.

And AT&T.

And any other platform that reminds me of the painful passing of The Black Mamba.

In this very moment, news is breaking that basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his 13 year old daughter Gianna (Gigi), and a host of passengers on his private helicopter have perished in a crash.

The collective scream on social media seems to be laced with the same sentiment: This one hit different.

“But he was so young.”

“Kobe is why I picked up a ball.”

“No words.”

As I listen to his stats being rattled off through shaky voices of ESPN, CNN, and CBS announcers, I go through my own personal stages of grief thinking about the families impacted by this terrible tragedy.

The outpour of love, admiration, and respect on social media is already epic – and I know more will come as the details begin to unfold.

I frequently studied Kobe’s interviews, not for the love of the game (although my short stint on the Lady Falcon’s freshman basketball team would argue otherwise), but for his tenaciousness, raw talent, and utter prowess both on and off the court.

His mentality was different.

He was supremely calculated and skilled.

He was driven beyond belief.

In the midst of me scrolling to verify the facts, I saw a post by someone whose caption was just the poem When Great Trees Fall by the late Dr. Maya Angelou. The last stanza caught my attention:

And when great souls die, after a period peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly. Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration. Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. They existed. They existed. We can be. Be and be better. For they existed.

In our humanness, our hearts will mourn and ache with any loss – public or private. I suffered loss extremely young, so I had to learn how to process it early. Your life and routine may never go back to the “same way it was” after a loss, but one day you’ll get the strength to put one foot in front of the other again. And you will continue to carry them in your heart forever.

I’m grateful to have lived in the same lifetime as many of those who have gone before me. Knowing that I don’t control “my time” used to scare me, but now I embrace it because I know who holds time.

The best way to pay homage to those who you carry around in your heart is to be the best you can be and live your purpose. Why? Because they were here.

“Everything negative – pressure, challenges – is all an opportunity for me to rise” – Kobe Bryant

We’ll miss you Kobe.

Always speak life,
Vannesia

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