Like so many of you, I am so shocked and saddened by the death of Kobe Bryant and all the others in that helicopter crash. How in the world could something like that have happened?
I’ve been thinking so much about Vanessa Bryant and the other spouses, parents and loved ones who woke up this morning to a nightmare. I can’t help but think back to my own personal nightmare and what it was like to wake up that first morning after loss.
Many of you could tell your own story. You get it. An unexpected loss is like a bomb has exploded in your life. Any loss is difficult, but an unexpected loss carries its own weight. It’s a heavy loss for many reasons.
I tried to imagine what it was like for Vanessa to wake up this morning in her new reality. Her husband is gone. Her daughter is gone. Each loss as individual as a fingerprint because her relationship with each was so different. The man she turned to for everything, who would have helped her cope with the loss of their daughter is not here to comfort her. The loss of a child is an unfathomable loss that makes life seem so unfair!!!
The whole trajectory of Vanessa’s life changed yesterday. That is a hard reality to come to terms with.
I “talk” to my daughter every day through Google Chat. These deaths were some of the first things we talked about this morning. The overall sadness of the situation was heavy on our minds. Our own experience with waking up that first morning was also on our minds.
My beautiful daughter and I woke up together that first morning after her dad unexpectedly passed away. She refused to let me sleep alone until she had to go back to college to finish finals. We woke up in such a fog that I really don’t remember much about that morning except I had some phone calls to make.
Family members had been called the night before, but I had to call his work that first morning because they were expecting to see him. There is very little about that phone call that I remember. I caught his coworker still driving. What a terrible thing to find out while stuck in traffic.
Friends started coming over immediately after finding out so the rest of the day was spent reading text, answering phone calls, and being loved on by people who stopped by. It’s all still a blur. It’s all still a nightmare.
Any of you who have lost someone unexpectedly know- the shock carries you for a while. Decisions have to be made, but most of those are made on autopilot. I’m so fortunate that I had my adult children with me. I’m so lucky that my sister and my parents dropped everything in their lives to be by my side. I could not have done it all without them.
Because of my life experience, I’m thinking of the spouses on this first day. There will be so many FIRSTS this year. Let’s all remember to keep them all in our prayers these first days, weeks, and months.
Vanessa will come to terms with her reality. She will be OK. I and many of you are living proof of that.