RIP Kobe Bryant

January 27, 2020

Every once in a while, a celebrity death hits really hard. They are always shocking, and always sad, but sometimes they hit straight to the core.

That is how Kobe's death felt yesterday. When I first heard the news, honestly, I couldn't catch my breath. It felt surreal and heavy and dark and so extremely sad. He was 41, he was, in his own words, just beginning this new chapter of his life. He has a 7 month old, a 3 year old, a 13 year old, and a 17 year old daughter. He's been married to his high school sweetheart for 20 years. He just won an Oscar, he was coaching his daughter, he was living his second act after the most amazing basketball career in history.

The weight of his death felt too heavy.

Yesterday, I spent the day in tears as the tributes rolled in. Every time someone mentioned his kids or his wife, I cried again. I cannot fathom her pain. His death feels too much.

I'll be the first to admit, I was never a huge Kobe fan. Hey, I'm a Suns fan and the jealousy I felt watching Kobe's magic on the court made me not love him. But you can't hate a player like Kobe. Instead you watch in awe and wish he was a player on your team. He has the charisma that everyone wanted, the finesse on the court every team dreamed of having, and the skills, man did Kobe had the skills.

His professional accolades are so many that it doesn't even seem right to list them out. We can start with his FIVE NBA championships, 15 All-Star Game appearances, four All-Star Game MVP Awards, two NBA Finals MVP Awards and a single regular-season MVP Award. Oh and top all that off with 2 gold Olympic medals.

Maybe his death his so hard because he seemed invincible. He was Kobe freaking Bryant! He can't die. He's just getting started! His life felt cut so short. His daughters, even shorter. And then you add in all the other people on that helicopter who lost their lives.

Yesterday was heavy, yesterday was so very sad.

Sitting in these moments of grief are so dang hard. It's that very simple reminder that life is so much shorter than we think. It's so precious. Deaths like Kobe remind us that we are all human and all tied together. It's simple simple proof, that our lives as humans and are existence is incredibly powerful and maybe if we continue to remember that, we can act in a way that will honor those who are gone. So today, I plan to love more, give more, forgive more, hold on to my family tighter, tell my friends I love them more, chase dreams, work harder, and believe in myself more.

One of my favorite quotes from Kobe, “Have a good time. Life is too short to get bogged down and be discouraged. You have to keep moving. You have to keep going. Put one foot in front of the other, smile and just keep on rolling.”

Maybe we should all live a little more like Kobe.

Rest in Peace Mamba, the world will never forget you. You will be missed by those who knew you and all the millions who loved you.

I hope you and GiGi are playing basketball in Heaven today.


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