On Sunday while having lighthearted brunch with my lovely and hilarious friend Danielle, I received a text message that Kobe Bryant had died. I gasped audibly in the restaurant and a few expletives admittedly escaped my mouth. I’m not a sports fan, but I did grow up playing basketball. Regardless, everyone knows how iconic and legendary Kobe was and it rattled me, especially when hearing his beloved 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, perished in the helicopter crash as well.

Of course, social media swelled with images of purple and yellow, quotes by and about Kobe, and somber mourning, from fans and celebrities alike. It appears that much like me, the world is in shock. How could a 41-year-old superman just be gone like that? By all accounts, it appears he was a doting father and husband. I can only imagine the pain his wife and other children must feel right now. I imagine it is searing, blinding, inhibiting all functionality. And it was with these thoughts that I continued my day, feeling progressively more depressed and aware of mortality and the fragility of life.

I barely slept. I had racing thoughts and I cried. I should’ve put my phone down, but I didn’t. I guess I wanted validation that I wasn’t the only one reeling from this tragedy and the harsh reminder that life isn’t always fair, it often doesn’t make sense, and it’s all out of our control. We can do what we can, but freak accidents happen. I don’t know if turning 30 last year made me hyper-aware of this, but in therapy, I’ve noticed myself focusing more on the existential concepts of life and death. I am not ashamed to admit that I am afraid of losing my loved ones and of dying, but I also recognize that I need to talk about it and process it more.

I found some comfort this morning in a group message with two of my best girlfriends. All three of us slept poorly and felt the emotional impact. Not an ideal mood to start the week, but at least we aren’t alone. We remain grateful to be alive and cherish our loved ones. And that’s really all we can do.

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