Last Sunday the world stopped and stood still for one man and his daughter, Kobe and Gigi Bryant. They were tragically killed in a helicopter crash on their way to a training session in Los Angeles. A normal day, doing what they normally do, along with another 7 people. They weren’t expecting their lives to end but tragically they did.
Times like this there are a lot of things people say. A lot of questions we begin to ask, many of those questions don’t have answers. There can be an emptiness of understanding what has happened and this can frustrate us and lead us into dark places of pain. I cannot even begin to fathom what Vanessa Bryant and her children are currently going through. And also all of the friends and loved ones that have also been truly devastated by this loss. My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to all those impacted by this tragedy.
Kobe was a hero of mine, I admired him and respected him highly. I thought he was invincible. That’s probably what makes this so hard for me to accept. I loved that he was more than just an athlete, that he was an example of a man who made mistakes, but owned them and learnt from them. That he was committed to being a better version of himself everyday, never feeling like he had made it. That he loved his family passionately and was committed to them in ways that far outweighed his love and commitment to the sport that made him known.
And yet as great as he was, he was still human. He still made mistakes and he still had a date with death that not even he could avoid. What maybe makes this so hard to take is that he wasn’t sick or unhealthy, death just came at such an unexpected and unfair time and way, claiming not only his life but other lives that hadn’t even begun to live yet.
I think the anguish in death for us left behind is not just that someone is dead and gone, but did they really get to live? How did they not get to live more? And it challenges those of us who are left behind to look hard at our priorities and the way we are living. The times we procrastinated days away or the grudges we hold against people who have hurt us. Death causes us to sober up and look at what really matters. Death causes us to realise our own date with it may be closer than we may like to think. It makes us ask the question is there more? If there is what is it? Where do I go? What happens to me? And the unknown reality of it can grip our hearts so negatively and for some of us the only way we know how to deal with the stare of eternity is to suppress and forget about it. The whole out of sight out of mind point of view. This view should not be trusted though, as it is merely a delay technique for the inevitability that faces every human..death. We all have to face it one day. Maybe we don’t speak about death enough. Maybe we haven’t given ourselves the space to process what we really think and feel about it. And ultimately what we really believe about it.
“Whatever you believe, the question that I feel we must all ask ourselves is does the way I live my life reflect what I really believe about death?”
YOLO one of the worlds most interesting sayings. You only live once. Usually when yolo is used it is in light of, do what you want, when you want, how you want. It don’t matter you only live once. In some cases recklessness without care of consequence is the heart of the saying. I agree. We only live once, but surely that means we should live our lives in such a way that is worthy of the one life we get to live. Surely our life is more valuable than destroying our bodies with drink and drugs in a bid to enjoy life? Surely our lives are more important than the opinions of people that keep us locked up in prisons of fear behind bars of fake personalities we have developed to please different people. Surely if we only live once we want our lives to count? To matter? To leave a legacy? To be so full of impact? That impact and legacy doesn’t need to be on a global level like Kobe. Not everyone is supposed to live their lives in front of the world. But we do get to live it in front of our world. No matter how you see yourself or whatever is going on in your life. Whatever mishaps or messes may have come your way. No matter who has let you down or you have let down, your world needs you. It needs you to live a life bigger than yourself. And if one person turns around on the day you die and can be thankful because of your life. It was worth it. How? Because you changed and impacted somebody’s world. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but there’s got to be more to my life than the rat race. There’s got to be. Should we have fun?! Yes plenty of it! As for me I want to have fun building something of significance than outlives me. I may never get to see it finish. But I was part of something bigger than me.
Kobe thank you that in you living for something bigger than yourself, you have forever marked my world. Is there more to life? Yeh there is. And a massive part of it is the story that you and me are writing everyday. Kobe’s book is closed. How will mine and yours read when it’s our time?
Love, peace and chicken wings