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"The Song of Kobe and Gianna"

February is Black History Month and I want to celebrate the voices of the past and present who have helped pave the way for black people around the world.

The global community is singing the song of Kobe and Gianna Bryant. The love of a father and daughter (#girldad) rolled from time to eternity when a routine helicopter ride turned tragic for the families of nine individuals.

Kobe was a man of great persona with global stature on and off the basketball court. While he was known to many nations for his basketball skills, his heart for family and community betterment was real. His public life journey was witnessed by millions - the good, the bad and the ugly. It feels to many as if we lost a friend, brother, father, sister and a daughter.

I have experienced the pain of loss through the untimely death of loved ones. Where do we put this pain? It can be easy to dismiss the pain with Christian ease like “God knows what’s best” or “maybe it was just their time”. It is important for us to find people we can discuss our feelings with as we sing our song. My family and friends became songwriters with me as I processed my loss. Being a Christian does not exempt us from pain, we have a promise that we will not suffer alone, no matter how we feel.

I would be remiss if I did not take time to honor all of the families who suffered loss from that accident. While we have heard about the Bryants, the songs of the other seven souls who lost their lives are playing for the family and friends who knew and loved them dearly.

Songs tell a story set to a tune that moves our heart. An excellent songwriter is able to help us identify with the story line and sing along. We memorize the songs intentionally, sometimes unconsciously and recall them in times of joy, sadness, pain, and heartaches. Sometimes songs come to us at seemingly random times to comfort us.

May the songs of Kobe and Gianna Bryant as well as: John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli; Sarah and Peyton Chester; Christina Mauser; and pilot Ara Zobayan, continue to live on. May we be mindful of the songs we are creating during our time here on earth. Sing on!

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