This time last Monday morning, I checked the news headlines on my phone. I read the top news release: “Kobe Bryant and his daughter killed in a helicopter crash.” What a shock! I have been an avid basketball fan since I lived in the USA back in the 1970s. I have followed the National Basketball Association (NBA) ever since. Growing up, my favourite player was Michael Jordan, probably the greatest player ever to play the game. I played basketball for many years including with my two sons. To this day, we love to watch the NBA together and see the latest teams and players compete.
Kobe Bryant was the Michael Jordan of this generation, having won many NBA titles and Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards. I watched him play on TV many times and admired his amazing skill, intense passion, and relentless drive to win (referred to as ‘the Mamba Mentality’).
Kobe was only 41 years of age and his daughter, Gianna, was 13 years old. Seven others were also killed in the tragic crash. At times like this, there is grief, sadness and loss. It is so hard to know what to say. Tributes flow in from everywhere – friends, associates and family. But the shock is there. Lives cut short. Death. It is so final. Our hearts go out to the family and friends of all those killed in this fatal accident.
Having lost my own father and step-mother in the last 18 months, death and funerals have been a part of our lives of late. Late last year, I participated in a radio interview on the topic of “What happens when I die?’ [My wife saw the humour in the social media advertisement that read, “What happens when I die with Mark Conner?”] Look out for the interview airing soon on radio as part of ‘Bigger Questions‘ with Robert Martin. Also, if you didn’t get a chance, you may be interested in my BLOG post on “What happens after death?” which I wrote after my step-mother’s funeral.
At the very least, sudden death is a reminder to all of us to make every day count and to be fully present each moment. And be sure to express your love and appreciation for the special people in your world. Love them while you can.