Last June, I wrote a post about how grief is weird. I talked about how it’s an ongoing process and it doesn’t ever really go away. It’s a natural part of life and it’s ok to feel grief when someone is gone. This weekend reminded me that it is also complicated. When a public figure is taken so suddenly and so tragically, it can be difficult to process.
I did not follow Kobe Bryant’s life or career very closely. Professional sports didn’t really interest me much until college, and even then I began following football over basketball. “Kobe” was just something you yelled when you threw trash into the can. I knew he was a popular player, and probably the greatest ever, but he was just another athlete to me.
I’ve learned a lot about him over the last few days. So many amazing things. Some horrible things, too. He was a complicated person. But then again, aren’t we all? Being a human being is complicated. Life is complicated. And tragically, his life was cut short along with 8 other people, including his daughter.
I don’t understand basketball or celebrity worship, but I do understand grief. Grief makes us wonder why. Why him? Why them? Why now? Who’s fault is it? Grief makes us want someone, something to blame. I understand that his life influenced so many others and that those millions of people are sharing in their collective shock and trying to make sense of the senseless, of the randomness of it.
Grief makes things surreal. Your heart is heavy, but time marches on. The sun rises again. You get up and prepare yourself for the day. You go to work and do your job. You make jokes with your coworkers. You go through the motions, just like yesterday, and just like you will tomorrow. You go home to your family, whatever shape it has for you. You hold them a little tighter. They understand. They’re holding a little tighter, too.
At first, I didn’t even think I wanted to write about this. What could I say that hasn’t already been said? What did I have the right to say? After all, I wasn’t even a fan. Not that I wasn’t not a fan; as I said, he was just another pro athlete that people talked about all the time.
Well, it’s not about what I have the right to say. It’s that I have feelings I need to convey, to pour onto the page before they burst inside me. Because grief is weird, and I get easily overwhelmed by tragedies like this. I see people hurting, and my heart breaks for them. I grieve for the families because I know how they are feeling.
Kobe was 41. He was only three years older than my dad was when he died. His daughter, Gianna, was 13. Again, three years older than I was when my dad died. She had 3 sisters. I have 3 sisters. These connections are just noise. They don’t mean anything, but I can’t help my brain from making them. That scar never goes away.
In that June post I mentioned how writing is my coping mechanism. It’s my catharsis. It’s taken me two days to get back to a mindset where I could write this. I don’t like not being able to write. I’m hoping that this will set me back on the right track while also maybe helping someone else understand their grief. Because it’s 100% valid to grieve a public figure whether you knew everything about them or nothing at all. Grief doesn’t need an explanation. If you feel it, it’s ok. You’re not alone.
Anyway, speaking of getting back on track with my writing, and to distract from the lingering sadness, let’s see what the next few prompts are.
364. What is your definition of trustworthy?
365. Do you feel rules are made to be broken?
366. If you were to create a TV sitcom about your life (any period) what would it be called and what star would play you?
Ugggh, I hate those TV prompts. Well, at least I have a few days to think about it before I get to writing it. I’ve had too many 0 days this month. Time to get several days in a row of writing done.
Get some rest. Stay hydrated. We’ll get through this week together. Good night!
PS-Like these prompts? Like the short stories I write based on these prompts? Want to show your support? Give the blog a follow! Leave a comment! Buy me a coffee! I put a lot of time and effort into these posts and your support means the world to me! Ok, now go out there and write!