Kobe Bryant

A horrific tragedy. Made worse by the knowledge that his 13-year-old beloved Gianna was with him on the helicopter. Nine people total, 3 children, 4 families and zero comfort to be found in the wreckage. An emotional jolt to all, sports enthusiasts, fathers, mothers, children, Americans… In the blink of an eye lives change and we all are halted in our steps, to take heed of how precious and momentary life is…

We all make mistakes, we all do amazing things, and we all eventually pass on. Live your best life, while most importantly offering your best self to others. Kobe Bryant seemed to understand that in his short 41 years. I didn’t know much about him until yesterday, but all that I have seen since that fateful helicopter ride, showed a man who knew exactly who he was. He knew his strengths and recognized his weaknesses. He was more than a basketball player, he was a human, a father, a husband, a son, a friend and a community member.

I read a post on Facebook yesterday detailing how awful those last minutes must have been for him; having his daughter by his side trying to be brave for her. It was beautifully written and thoughtfully done, but I choose to paint a different scenario in my mind. I pray all the passengers on that helicopter were completely unaware of what was about to happen.

I see them laughing and plotting their practice and game plan. I see them enjoying their time together, fully in the moment with their loved ones and friends. I see a sudden and blinding great light come over them, enveloping them in spectacular warmth, comfort and unimaginable beauty. As sudden as a millisecond and as stunning as one would expect from a heavenly scene; nine people instantly standing hand in hand beneath the glow of a million dazzling sunbeams with beautiful melodious choirs singing faintly in the background. They walk with complete trust and delight as the angels guide them toward Him where He waits with open arms to welcome them home.

This is what I choose to believe, and what I pray happened for all who perished yesterday. This belief is what helps my mind to process tragedy. While we suffer here, missing them, they are truly in a much better place where we will meet again.

God Bless you Kobe Bryant, GiGi and all of the passengers on the flight yesterday. You have collectively reminded me that human life is beautiful and fragile and fleeting. You have reaffirmed to me that I must try harder every day to be a good person, because we don’t know when we will find ourselves being led by angels. In your final act, you have made us all pause from the insanity that has gripped us, to show us once again what is truly important.

You will be missed but surely never forgotten. As with every tragedy that forces me to focus on what’s important, I pray I remember and act upon that knowledge daily. God Bless us all.

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