A little over a week ago, the world was rocked by the tragic passing of NBA Champion, Kobe Bryant.  Eight other lives were lost in the Calabasas helicopter crash including Kobe's daughter, Gianna.  Everyone felt the pain from this horrific loss of lives.  Why are we feeling this sadness when most of us didn't even know Kobe or his daughter Gianna personally?  Apparently, in a strange way, we did.

According to the What's Your Grief website, grieving over someone who one does not know, particularly celebrities, is normal.  There are nine reasons why we feel this way when a celebrity dies.  They include:

  1. We don’t know celebrities, but we know celebrities:  We have seen our idols grow and change either in movies or on the court.  We feel like we have been part of those changes.
  2. We feel connected to our favorite celebs: Sometimes our favorite celebrities remind us of who we are.
  3. They are connected to friends or family who have died: This is when your friends or family has been affected by this loss.  For example, my little cousin may not know who Kobe Bryant was.  But he notices my sadness and tries to comfort me during this time.
  4. We connect with the way the celeb died: Certain celebrity deaths may affect people in different ways because they might know a loved one who died in a similar way.
  5. That celeb was always there to comfort us: Personally, music helps get me through any situation.  When I experienced my first heartbreak, I didn't want to listen to any music.  But I realized music was the best medicine for me.  It expressed my feelings without saying anything.
  6. We see it everywhere: You really can't escape social media, television, or any type of media.  When a celebrity dies, you can expect to see it in the headlines for at least a couple of weeks.
  7. It represents losing our past or our youth: Some celebrities that have died could have been part of our childhood.  You just feel like a part of you is gone.
  8. Other people make us feel bad: When others fail to recognize that are feelings and reactions are real and genuine, we feel bad.   We need to validate our feelings in order to heal.  Having someone to talk to and sympathize with you is a great way to comfort you.
  9. They will never do or create anything new:  This is it...we are always excited seeing our favorite celebrities work on a new project.  While we are grateful for what they have done, we will never experience the joy of knowing what will be next.

It's no secret that I am a huge sports fan, therefore I have been experiencing this type of grief as well.  Kobe Bryant was my Michael Jordan.  He had the drive, work ethic, and characteristics of what it took to be a professional athlete or anything you wanted to do in life. I admired Kobe for his athletic gifts, his basketball acumen, and how he ignited my passion for basketball.

So if you're feeling this sadness, you're not crazy.  You actually have a bond with Kobe through the love of basketball.  Our sports heroes and favorite celebrities become part of our daily lives, and when they die, we mourn their loss too. They may be gone, but their memories will live on forever thanks to the devotion of you - the fans.

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