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Elyse P

When the alert popped up on my phone that Kobe Bryant had died in a helicopter crash, I was shocked at how much that news shook me. My husband and I frantically searched our phones for any scraps of new information. We were having lunch with our 7-year-old and I found myself scanning strangers faces for some shared moment of understanding. 

My son asked what was happening and we told him that a famous basketball player had died in a helicopter crash. No, we didn't know him. No, we didn't know his family. No, we hadn't ever met him. No, we didn't watch basketball very often. So, of course the obvious question was, why we were "upset." That was a hard one to answer.

I wouldn't consider myself an NBA fan or a fan of Kobe. In fact, I wasn't even sure if I "liked" him, as I remembered some trouble he'd made years ago. So, good question, why was it that we were feeling so rocked by the news of his death?

And, just as we were trying to explain that he was our age, had kids our age, and what a big deal it was when he was drafted right out of high school, we read the rumor that his daughter had been with him. I felt completely deflated. I don't fully understand why, but this contemporary of mine was gone and his baby had gone with him. All I could think of was her momma and it brings tears to my eyes even as I type this. Why is it that I felt so impacted by the death of this celebrity? Has anyone else had similar feelings with this loss or the loss of other celebrities?  

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