“There aren’t enough words to describe our pain…” so started Venessa Bryant’s tweet yesterday in regards to the deaths of her husband, Kobe Bryant, and their child, Gigi Bryant. As I said before, and I will continue to say, the worse pains to strike an individual is the death of a child, followed by the death of spouse/partner. Ms. Bryant has to live with both and I cannot even begin to understand what her life is now and will continue to be in the future.
I have thought about her continuously since her husband and child died. And if you start to preach to me there were other people who died in the crash too, I will cut you off mid-rant and tell you, just because I think of Ms. Bryant’s pain, does not mean I diminish the deaths of the other passengers and their families’ pains. It’s not one over the other. ALL of the families hold my sympathies.
Ms. Bryant is right. Grief is indescribable. And at her young age, with life experiences being still so fresh, I bet it’s even more difficult. At my seasoned age of fifty-eight, with so much more life in me including all the bad, I struggle with words. This entire blog since I started on this journey was, is, my attempt to chronicle the pain, yet it has all been an attempt and I could never fully define this awful journey. And Ms. Bryant’s words is the best I could have said – indescribable.
I have more years behind me than I do ahead. Years I know will forever be changed in pain and longing which will become manageable. Ms. Bryant’s years lay out before her in an endless horizon. Years she will now live without her husband or child and her pain has to be deeper, harder, more pronounced.
My Peter was an important person in my life, THE person in my life. My children, his family and his friends adored him and held him high regard. The memory of him still haunts us and can send us into a spiral before we can get up again. Kobe Bryant was a public figured, adored by the masses, and the memories of him will be play out in the media, through his fans, forever. His daughter’s death will always be the “and” part of Kobe Bryant’s end. Ms. Bryant’s ability to live with all of this while being bombarded constantly with reminders, I am sure, will take long, and will forever be triggered by the adoration of her husband.
Today’s blog isn’t meant to be a comparison, although half way in, it seems like just that. It’s not meant to be. Perhaps a certain part of me relates to the suddenness of widowhood, without good-byes, without preparation, without last I love you’s. And I do have some knowledge of her pain as a widow. That is where the comparison ends. I have nothing in me to relate to a childless mother. I have zero of both. Those are pains I can’t imagine, nor ever want to.
I don’t know Ms. Bryant. I don’t know for sure what she is feeling, who she is a person, or how she’s handling any of this. I am basing it on the sudden death of Peter and the journey I’ve been traveling on. I am projecting based of my own experiences. And it’s probably not fair. I most likely am looking like one of those people who wants to compare a stubbed toe to a broken leg. Valid image of me. Yet, since the helicopter crash, all I can think about is, not the death of a great athlete, arguably one of the greatest of my time, and the death of all those involved, rather about the woman left behind, of the one still living. What I think about is the hell Ms. Bryant now lives in. And no amount of money, prestige or fame can bring her up from the bowels of it.
If I was not living in my own nightmare, I don’t know if I would be thinking so much about Ms. Bryant. Oh, I probably would give her some thought. Most likely though, I would think about Kobe Bryant and his legacy. But I am living what I am living, and Ms. Bryant’s life is in the forefront of my mind. I feel horrible for her, the pain she is living with and will continue to live with, not only because of the loss of her husband, but of her child.
I live my life carrying the pain of a fractured heart. Ms. Bryant will now live her life carrying with her the pain of a fracture soul. And she is right, there are no words to describe that.