“No one ever told me that grief felt so much like fear”
– CS Lewis
The passing of Kobe, his daughter and the other 7 passengers on board really shook me, it made me fearful and unbelievably anxious. It was definitely one of those moments that I’ll always remember where I was and what I was doing when I found out Kobe had died, and the news that came after about his daughter and other families being with him was even more devastating. It all felt like a bad dream.
I woke up the next morning and told my husband I wasn’t going to work, I didn’t want to leave the house, I didn’t want the kids to leave the house, in my mind all I wanted was for the four of us to stay at home in bed together. I felt an overwhelming feeling that would come and go in waves, I was just so afraid. A few days later I came across this CS Lewis quote on Instagram, “No one ever told me that grief felt so much like fear”, and I thought to myself, am I grieving? Grieving people I don’t personally know? No, that wouldn’t make sense. But, honestly, it was the only thing that made sense of the intense fear that I felt.
Later on in the week I spoke to a friend and we were talking about how we had been feeling and she said she hadn’t spoken much about how she was feeling because she didn’t want people to feel like she was being extra and she actually started to ask herself if she was being too emotional, but she couldn’t shake the way she was feeling. I was like, me too! That’s exactly how I had been feeling, I didn’t want people to think I was doing too much, but I couldn’t shake it. My friend and I aren’t die hard fans of Kobe, so it felt weird to be affected by it like this.
It’s been a week and a few days, and I think I understand it now. Human beings are built for connection, whether we admit it or not, we want to connect with one another, consciously and sub consciously, in different ways and on different levels, we connect. We connect with people sometimes in ways that we don’t even realise, instantly or gradually. So, I started asking myself why I felt so connected to the death of everyone in this horrific crash, most especially Kobe and Gianna.
I fell in love with Basketball when I was 12, it taught me so much, it saved me from so much and it truly brought me so much joy and satisfaction. I played for my secondary school, my county and my University. Like I said previously, I wasn’t a die-hard fan of Kobe but he was one of the many players that I loved to watch and I appreciated his craft. For me, he just represented greatness, passion, discipline, sportsmanship on and off the court. He was a part of my passion for basketball, he brought so much to the game.
I’m a mother and a wife, and every time I think of Vanessa losing her daughter and husband, the other parents who lost their children, the kids who lost their parents, I get so overwhelmed. The thought of my girls losing each other, or losing me or their dad, or me losing them or my husband just makes me weak (God forbid). Although I can’t even imagine what Vanessa is going through right now, I feel connected to her as a mother and a wife. I stand with her and pray for her like she is family. This tragedy really hit home for me, having my own family and understanding what a blessing it is for everyone to go out and make it home safe. It’s truly heart-breaking.
I write this to say if you’re truly grieving, about this tragedy, or have ever grieved the loss of a celebrity or someone that may not have been super close to you, it’s okay. You’re not extra, you’re not doing it just to be a part of the current thing that’s going on right now, you’re just somehow connected. You may be affected so deeply because you can relate to the relationship Gianna had with her dad, or your love for ball, or a personal trauma or loss you’ve experienced in your own life. If you’re affected by something devastating that happened to someone you admire, or followed, or looked up to, it’s okay, because they’re a part of you too in some way, you’re connected to something about them and it’s okay to feel it. You’re connected.
With that being said, as you connect yourself with various people in your journey of life, be aware that others that you may or may not know are also somehow connecting themselves to you in one way or another. Understand that your life matters and you’re not moving as one, but with many other souls.