01/27/2023 Unexpected Loss Is Often The Hardest To Understand

Today’s the 3yr anniversary of the loss of Kobe Bryant, his 13yr-old daughter Gianna, & 7 other innocent lives in a helicopter crash.

On the day it happened, I was set to present a SameHere Sit-Down w Savannah State University athletes. I’m a 6-4 white dude…hard to miss, & I was set to present to a predominantly BIPOC community, at an HBCU, on a day one of the world’s most beloved Black athletes passed so tragically. The crash happened an hour before the event. How could I not address it? Yes I had/have a typical “entry” culture presentation I do w all groups…but THIS was the ultimate example of shared tragedy…trauma we were all experiencing: an event that happened that caused our bodies to feel something beyond our ability to cope in the moment. Surreal.

In a way, bc I looked so diff than most in the room, it was even a more impt example to show how pain is pain, trauma is trauma…& it’s something we ALL go thru. Do you remember what the shared pain was like, ALL over social, in the wk following Kobe’s death? 99.9% of the posters had NEVER met Kobe or Gianna…but it didn’t stop them from feeling the need to PUBLICLY write & share their own pain. 

It just made me think of my own premature losses in my life. Close friends: 3, back-to-back-to-back in my 20s. A great friend from my NBA days to cancer in his 30s. The pain stays w me. I work on it…but compounded trauma in my system still remains.

It all just made me think of loss, & how we don’t talk abt & open up & share, despite how COMMON it is.  Loss, sadly, is an inevitability. I think the juxtaposition of how OPEN most were during the Kobe tragedy next to how much we hold our pain CLOSE to the vest when it’s personal, is so interesting. I think at least PART of it’s bc when it’s a personal loss, we feel alone w our pain…whereas w a loss like Kobe, we all went thru it, together. 

I hope this resonates but, personally- we ALL go thru it. It just happens at diff times. Can you imagine if bc of the commonality of loss, there was more comfort to be more open, to share & be comforted w our own personal losses…& feel together in it, like w Kobe? We can work towards that.

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