Life, Loss and Legacy (The lasting impact of the Calabasas helicopter crash)

So many people are finding it incredibly hard to come to terms with the Calabasas helicopter crash that killed nine people.

Most notably, Kobe Bryant, and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. Yes, Kobe Bryant is one of the best athletes to play basketball, but he was also human. Sometimes in life we are so fixated on a figure that we cannot imagine them as anything but a living legend. As we honor and idolize these individuals, it can be easy to forget that they are vulnerable just as everyone else is. The Calabasas helicopter crash was the perfect metaphor for the fragility of life. You can be an amazingly talented and irreplaceable figure, both in and out of your respected field or profession, and can still be a “victim“ to a tragedy. When I thought about it, I realized that the individuals who lost their lives represented the general make-up of our society. This specific tragedy and the other tragedies that occur daily around the world, do not care about someone's race, gender, age, social status, education, etc. At the end of the day, when our time is up, that’s it. I think the combination of the helicopter crash and the reality that anything can happen to anyone contributes to the reason why so many people are still grieving.

Five days after the crash, I had the privilege of waking up not feeling the weight of this tragedy. That realization especially struck me because at the exact moment I felt the grief of all the families who did not wake up with a similar sense of relief. It is hard to make sense of a loss like this when it resulted from a complete accident. It was an ordinary day and the trip itself was routine. There were no other factors that contributed to the crash other than nature. As I think about the other innnocent passengers that loss their lives as a result, I'm still shocked at the lingering feeling of disbeilef and how the feeling tends to catch me off guard. 

This post is dedicated to all those who try their best for their kids. My mom wore many hats as she was a hockey, baseball, soccer and football mom. I spent a lot of time with athletes and I was always touched by how hard their parents and guardians worked to make sure they had the resources they needed, as well as the emotional support. The parents and guardians of athletes are the unsung heroes as they sacrifice countless amounts of time to pick up and drop off their children, waking up early and staying late for practices, and doing their best to attend all games, tournaments, and championships. Without the support of parents and guardians, athleteles would not be able to be as successful as they are. Simply put, while the athletes might be stars on the field, their parents and supporters are real stars for everything they do for the athletes.

To John, Keri, and Alyssa Altobelli, Kobe and Gianna Bryant, Sarah and Payton Chester, Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan you will forever be in the hearts of many.

Hands forming the shape of a heart



All images were provided by the Her Campus Library