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I have a hard time writing shimmery words full of love and hope because love and hope is not what I feel right now. I feel uncertain, confused and dazed, like life is a ton of bricks intent on falling on the backs of the undeserving. Like Toni Morrison after September 11, I have no desire to write hyperbole and words full of care sent to soothe. I don’t feel like talking about the great man Kobe Bryant was because I didn’t know him like his wife, his mother or kids. I feel emotionally stuck. And I feel unfeeling.

The news zipped around like a mosquito thirsty for blood. Who was the first to know? What should I say? When should I say it? What picture should I use? Did you hear? Did you hear the news? Kobe Bryant has passed. The plane zipped, pimped, rose, splashed and crashed. It rained, they say, the fog. It’s stormy weather, they say, in LA today. On January 26, we all got the news. It was all over the news — the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant. 

And I got the sense that maybe we all talk too much.

Perhaps what Vanessa Bryant needs more than anything else right now is silence. 

Life is not something you can control like the way you throw a tennis ball up than hit it with a racket. Once it makes contact, if you’ve practiced hard enough, you know it’ll fly to the other side. Life is not a basketball that can be held in your hands with certainty, mastery and skill. Life is not any of those things. Life comes and it goes like a bird that has to leave one place for another. Life is not anything we can control.

What can we control? This very second. And if you wouldn’t mind I would like to take this very second to shed all cold opinions, judgemental thoughts and cynical tweets, and just choose peace. If you are with me in this moment, then you have chosen to forget your pain, grief and sorrow, and you have chosen to just sit in peace for just this second.

I want you to say, thank you.

I need you to say, thank you God I am alive.

I want you to say, I am so grateful dear God, that I am alive, and because of that I have chosen peace. I have chosen not to be the flashiest, the crassest, the first person to lift my tongue to speak. No, in this small moment of peace I will forget my grief. Oh God, thank you for this peace. Thank you for my daughter and then I will mourn the one I lost.

I want you to say, thank you, dear God, for all that I have.

Rest in peace Kobe Bryant, his daughter and all lives that have gone too soon, all around the world. We think of you today. Small as you are, you stay in our thoughts.

Kobe is not gone. In fact, he is here more than ever before. And he will always be here for us.