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Losing Mamba…. Mourning the Loss of Kobe

Kobe. Gigi. The Bryant family has gone through the crucible of tragedy this past week in ways I will not dare to guess. I do not know them, and I do not know their pain, but what I do know is that the world is mourning with them for their loss. The deaths of one of the greatest athletes of all time and the rest of the passengers who lost their lives in the helicopter crash, including Kobe’s 14-year-old daughter Gianna, are the hardest of pills to swallow. 

When the news first hit there was a collective disbelief and with almost a week passing since the accident the disbelief has not lessened at all. My mother said to me that this is beyond sad, it is a mistake: how could the universe take them away at this time in their lives. Kobe was such a symbol of excellence, especially black excellence for young African Americans to follow.  His daughter’s future was so bright.  The other passengers were there because of Kobe’s generosity, why should they have been repaid for accepting it with their demise?

“…..lets mentor each other as Kobe did Gigi, let’s look up to our loved ones as Gigi did Kobe and let’s remember that even when helicopters fall, spirits do rise.” – J.A . Williams

            I’ve learned in my own life that if we expect a just world in the world, we live in we will be disappointed sometimes. We will lose our heroes and our heroes will lose more than us, all in the pursuit of just a little bit of life’s comforts. But I also know that anyone can be a symbol, a paragon of defiance. Kobe became an icon through his own hard work, his mamba mentality. But because of his love for his family, his expanding the game of basketball globally and the wonderful daughter he helped bring into this world, now passed, Kobe transcends simply being an athletic legend, he is a human legend. 

You can’t help but watch Kobe’s interviews and have a sense that you are witnessing something that is rare, and it is the things that are rare that always leave us too soon. Kobe, Gigi, and each passenger who died last week will be honored and eulogized for days, weeks and perhaps months to come.  And while that is occurring my advice to anyone who feels this tragedy deep in their bones, is to remember the most powerful legacy Kobe, Gigi and the other passengers leave behind: let’s trust each other as they trusted Kobe, lets mentor each other as Kobe did Gigi, let’s look up to our loved ones as Gigi did Kobe and let’s remember that even when helicopters fall, spirits do rise.

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