Kobe Bryant Memorial at Lower Merion HS

While I did not know Kobe Bryant or have any sort of personal connection to the former NBA superstar, the news of his death shook me hard for a myriad of reasons. A friend sent me the unwanted and unexpected text while I was out at Whole Foods. When I saw the TMZ message, I knew that the news alert was most likely true, but it did not immediately sink in. Like many other folks, I thought maybe it was another celebrity death hoax. In the moment, I found myself frozen in the middle of the aisle frantically searching for any credible news outlet’s story about Kobe’s death but I could not find anything. Even when I returned home, I found there weren’t many outlets with any credible news coverage, as ESPN and ABC were both airing the NFL Pro Bowl at the time. On what started as a slow news day, it seemed like none of the major outlets were prepared to handle breaking news of this magnitude. The sudden loss of life for these nine individuals caught everyone off guard.


I think the news hit me hard because I am a father now and I keep thinking about all of the lives that were shattered by this horrible accident. The families that were directly impacted have been forever changed. The fact that Kobe had a wife and four young girls of his own is really hitting me in the heart. I don’t understand the pain that Vanessa is going through, having lost her husband and one of her daughters. I also can’t understand what those final moments in the helicopter were like for the nine passengers. Everything must have unraveled so quickly, but I’d like to think Kobe tried to comfort his daughter Gianna who was also traveling with him. This has consumed my thoughts over these last few days but I’ve found some comfort in reading and watching all of the touching tributes from the folks who knew Kobe the best such as his former teammates.


Kobe had such a monumental impact on the World and we are all feeling the effects of his death. I’m really at a loss of words to be able to accurately articulate how I feel but I wanted to just pay my respects. Kobe was someone who I looked up to and he will be missed deeply by many.


Rest in Peace to the nine individuals who lost their lives on Sunday, January 26th 2020.


Kobe Bryant, 41

Gianna Bryant, 13

John Altobelli, 56

Keri Altobelli, 46

Alyssa Altobelli, 13

Christina Mauser, 38

Ara Zobayan, 50

Sarah Chester, 45

Payton Chester, 13




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