We live each day as if life is ordinary, until death shows us what an extraordinary gift each moment is. Today the death of Kobe Bryant and his 13-year old daughter has jarred the world collectively into sadness, grief, and fear. A sense of helplessness.
It’s worth asking why anyone cares. People die every day. Why mourn the deaths of a star? Why is there now a guttural cry to the universe?
We believe we have control over our lives and will live “normal lifespans.” The untimely death of a public figure shatters these illusions. Untimely is a word that expresses our belief that we are in control, as if lifespans have a knowable path.
Children bury their parents. Parents are not supposed to bury their children.
The public’s focus will be on Kobe, naturally as he was a beloved public figure. The grief will be felt by Vanessa Bryant, whose heart has been ripped from her chest as she buries a daughter.
We live as if life is ordinary, and we must. Bills are paid and obligations are made as if tomorrow will come. The world would collapse if we always lived truly in the moment.
Life is ordinary, until it’s gone.
Michele Johnson says
This was a great article. I lost two sons at age 18 and 19 on 9/11/2008 in a random car accident. It’s hard to believe it’s been 11 years…mothers are not supposed to bury their children. It will never make sense to me. I grieve for this family…the empty seats at dinner, the birthdays, the holidays, the graduations and weddings all left with this empty space. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, how smart or accomplished you are because death spares no one. I remind myself every single day of a quote I read not long after my sons were taken: The problem is…..you think you have time. In my case, I was lucky enough to have spent the night before with both of them at my one son’s 18th birthday dinner and it was the most meaningful time. Little did I know it would be the last time. I consider myself lucky I was given that time some mothers do not get the same and it has carried me through the most difficult times knowing I was given that small gift of time before they departed this earth.
Shawn Vint says
Well said, Mike. And to commenter Michelle above, I’m so sorry for your loss and thank you for your words as well.
I’m so sorry for your loss of your boys Michele.
I had a very close call with my Dad this past December, and my best friend died pretty suddenly a few years ago. He was only 27 and it was an accident whilst on holiday in a river.
He was my great hope, very kind gentle soul, and thousands went to his funeral. He helped a lot of people did a lot of charity work.
And me being a religious person, I struggled to understand how someone I felt was so objectively better than me in terms of the output he had to give to this earth was no longer around and I and others that did so little still were here.
But I got my answer and it took a few years. I saw how in the years after his death spontaneously and without any kind of prompting, maybe 10 friends we shared all level up. They all became people that managed to do tremendous acts of charity, to influence and really help put a positive mark on the Earth.
I still have a lot of stuff I’m working through mentally but it’s getting better and I see every bit of time we have is a gift. Our eyesight is a gift, loved ones are. We’re given this time to do the best we can, and we go. And the world moves on, but things do change. The work my friend damn singularly did split into many more people making similar level contributions and helping even more people.
Like this situation with Kobe recently, he made the absolute most of his life, influenced the absolute most people, learned the hardest lessons and his death and that of his daughter touched so deeply the heart of millions of people it’s caused them to reflect on their own lives and what they’re thankful for and what they want to do or focus on with the time that they have.
This December was a big wake up call for me that living in fear of the unknown only depresses our ability to make the most with the time we have. It’s more important to focus on that time and making it a rich life (don’t mean financially) and worthwhile one to be in
Thank you for sharing your painful story. May the love and comfort of the living GOD of Israel, will envelop you on this earth, until your reunion with your boys.
So doubly sad. I’m sorry to report that my loving mom Shari Flanzer passed away today as well. Hope they all meet in Heaven.
I am truly sorry for your loss.May she rest in eternal peace and may you and your family find strength in this difficult time.🙏🏼
Sorry for your mom departure. May God’s comfort and love will carry you through this hard time.
Came here expecting to see how Kobe Bryant was just an over-paid Black athlete that was uppity and overly praised by the liberals. Read a poignant article and comments instead.
Life is indeed fleeting, and nothing guaranteed. Death smiles at all of us.