It has taken me six months to muster up the courage to write this. And yet, I’m unsure of what to say.
I have always believed in the power of the written word. But today, those same words fail me.
I don’t think I had ever experienced being at a loss for words until that fateful morning. As soon as I had woken up, my roommates begged and pleaded with me to not look at my phone.
The rest of the week went by. I ambled about, aimless. Never had I felt like this. I wanted to cry. I wanted to scream.
I couldn’t believe that you were gone.
I didn’t want to believe that you were gone.
Almost a month later, I was alone in my room, watching your memorial. I sat there, clutching my phone, hands shivering, hanging on to every word that was said. I choked back my sobs, but they only grew louder. With every sob, the ache in my chest intensified. I can’t remember the last time I cried like that.
You may not know this, (of course, you don’t), but I spent the majority of middle school watching basketball highlights. I mimicked your every move. When people told me that Michael was the greatest player, I simply shook my head. I had never watched Michael as I did you. In my eyes, you were the greatest.
You are the greatest.
Death is perhaps the most perplexing concept. How can decades of passion, love, ideas, relationships, and memories be reduced to a wooden box under the ground? I’ve realised that no matter how many times I question why this happened, the answer would never satisfy me.
Why did you have to go?
Today is your birthday. Are birthdays celebrated in heaven? I’ve been watching highlights all day. It isn’t unusual to cry while watching an emotional movie, but is it normal to sob like a baby while watching sports highlights?
You’d be happy to know that the Lakers made the playoffs. I was looking at the playoffs chart, and part of me pictured the Lakers holding up the trophy, for you. That would be quite a nice end to a chaotic season.
It’s been a rough day. I feel this tightness in my chest; it’s unexplainable. I keep telling myself that loss is a part of life, but why does it have to be?
How can you miss someone you’ve never met? I’ve only watched you on screen, playing basketball. Seated 9000 miles away, I’ve only known you from the games, interviews and talk shows. And yet, here I am, trying to cope with the loss of someone who never knew me, someone I’d never met.
The world misses you, Kobe.
I miss you.
The nine-year-old girl who mimicked your every move is grateful for everything you’ve said and done. Thank you. Thank you for everything.
You’re my hero.
Always will be.
P.S. I apologise for the rambling. You don’t mind, do you?
Featured Image Credits: The Undefeated