This last week, I have been truly grieving Kobe Bryant along with his beautiful daughter Gigi, and all the other victims in the helicopter crash. My heart equally hurts for each of their stories told and making me cry throughout my day. I’m crying so much that you would think I knew all of them personally and I know I am not alone with this feeling. It saddens me to know such a community of people brought together as neighbors, parents, coaches and friends were truly making their mark on the world for not only their own families but also blessing others! Truly extending their gifts in purpose to others around them. Compassion for a fellow person unknown is a connection to each other by our hearts under the umbrella of humanity yet this one is even digging deeper.
Maybe because I’m haunted by the knowing and understanding that their deaths have now caused their loved ones such cruelty of feelings, such a loss of comprehension, shock, sorrow and everything mixed that clouds the happy memories you would hope they can search for, but cannot at this time. All of that void and lost in a dark cloud of presence in a brutal reality. Being personally familiar with grief and knowing how cruel and lonely it feels, I find myself not only praying to God for all of them, but I find myself asking God “why did this happen?”
I have been thinking over and over again, how can this be. Kobe not just a Legend in basketball, but also a true Ambassador of Goodwill. A person of influence that as a people, we desperately needed. Especially in the area of fatherhood and then add another layer to the fatherhood of daughters. His gift of positivity was his inspiration for others and significantly a part of his creed. Seeing Kobe’s leadership in support, I was so excited for women’s basketball. The stories pouring out of how he reached out to women players and encouraging them and congratulating them with such admiration too! Add his own respect for his elder daughters’ sports enthusiasm and supporting them too. Especially seeing that Gigi, his daughter, was following in her father's footsteps. Kobe's support of his daughters and all women's supports since his retirement makes me believe he was foreseeing something so much bigger for women sports. I truly hope someone of his esteemed colleagues will continue in his honor to support what he started.
This last week I have watched a lot of Kobe’s interviews. It has been mixed into my morning, afternoon, evening and before bed. Common threads are that they are all inspirational, heartwarming, funny, loving, caring and authentic. The ones with his family are abundant with love, happiness and pride. Truly beautiful and heartbreaking to now watch. Personally, I am soaking up every bit of his advice, his love, his discipline, his philosophies, his joy for life and his adoration for his family. I know that I’m not alone, as many of us searching for his meaning to somehow shine light on us right now, to gain a deeper perspective of our purpose here and now.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this and I truly feel we all have a job to do for humanity in his honor. I pray that as a people we can truly live by his code of ethics, discipline, work ethics, kindness, joy and love.” We need to not only do this for ourselves, but for our future generations. This isn’t meant to be cliché. I am seriously thinking of this from morning to night since this happened just one week ago today.
I started Heart Driven Purpose because truly it is what I love to do so when I watched Kobe’s interview calling on us to “do what we love” I felt comforted by his call to action. Making my small contributions to others in an impactful way counts too! Sharing my knowledge and gifts in teachings, coaching, consulting, community leadership, animal advocacy, neighbor, or friend. Yet being excited for 2020 changed quickly, first with the Australian fires, my dog attacked in our own backyard by a raccoon, and now this tragedy. Well, it took a little wind out of my sail. I am recharging by going to bed earlier. Resting when I am tired. Breathing and unplugging from technology too. Keeping to my "yes and no" in life through my heart driven purpose.
Needing to listen to what my heart says even more and to do that, I need to find my space to hear it. Over the weekend I started thinking about the leadership book club that I’m so excited to start through Heart Driven Purpose. The last time I enjoyed reading about leadership and having engaging conversations or writing interesting papers on books was when I was at Pepperdine’s Educational Leadership Academy’s graduate studies program. Up until last Sunday, I had full intention to start with the Art of Possibilities as our first book, but then I started thinking maybe it needs to be our second book. Still contemplating what to start with for the group so whether the first book or the second, The Mamba Mentality:How I Play will be one of the two books.
Of course, I wanted to buy his book right away but along with another million people I tried to buy his book on Amazon. Of course, it is backordered as it should be. I’m certain I am in good company of a very long waiting list. Then I decided, as much as I love books, I would look for it on Audible. I would love to hear his voice reading his book right now. Sadly, it is not there either. So, I turned to Kindle. I’m old fashioned in that I love to read a real book over a Kindle book, but I gave in because I felt like I need to read his book as soon as I can. Not sure if this is part of the grieving, my sadness, or my question to understand how this happened or why. My "here and now" just took on a new meaning in my life.
Tomorrow is my dad’s birthday. Gone five years and I grieve so terribly for my dad and I miss our times together so much. My throat chokes up as I write this because it pains me to think of all the families affected by the loss of such innocent lives. Mothers and fathers, sisters, coaches, and friends. All loved and now painfully missed. Especially for his two youngest daughters to not have a chance to have the greatest father imaginable for them to be a part of their human life, but now an angel father instead. It just makes me hurt all over as I think this, and I mindfully share love, light and prayers their way throughout my day, plus taking the time to be mindful and sending to the other victims' loved ones too.
As for Kobe Bryant, himself, his loss feels like we were all robbed of a magnificent humanitarian that had so much more to accomplish and gift the world. His specialness is that he was simply so real to all of us! Engaged with his neighbors, his kids’ friends, and picked up his children from school. Writing children books too! Wow! Then to know he truly taught everyone that he met what he learned in life with abundance. He generously shared his principles by bringing leadership and in many cases mentoring or fatherly advice! Everything I read or listen to rings true that with hard work, integrity, respect for self and others, generosity, discipline, humor, kindness, and again hard work that dreams can become reality. His life evidence of it all!
I for one cannot wait to read his book in a group, I personally feel I need to have engaging conversations on his principles and to share the grieving of his loss with other fans. Whether from the basketball standpoint or the businessman, humanitarian, father, husband or friend, it is just going to be a healing time for me, and I hope to share with others.
In his honor and as diverse communities of people, I hope we can bridge our differences with our kindness, lessons learned, joy, and stories told. God bless the families and future generations to always know Kobe Bryant lives on in how we master our lives and how we share our gifts with others.
https://youtu.be/Da-v4--Qn0U - 30 Minutes That Will Change Your Life, an Interview with Kobe Bryant found on YouTube.