Our Pain is Different, And That’s OK

Yesterday I wrote of the Facebook groups, and how people can be when they are protected by the almighty faceless keyboard. Then, a few hours later the world learned of the death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others that were on the helicopter. The Twitter universe, Facebook and other social media powers were flooded with RIPs, memories, and tributes. And my Service Industry group didn’t disappoint when it came to crappy responses to how people responded.

One man wrote of his experience serving Bryant a few years back. He was delivering food to him and his table, and living the actual server nightmare, he dropped macaroni and cheese all over Kobe Bryant’s lap. He said that Bryant wasn’t too pleased, but it ended alright when it was said and done. He then relayed how a year later, when they Lakers were in town again, he again ended up as his server and Bryant remembered him, which was cool, and he did not drop anything on him this time. So I think it is totally normal that when someone famous dies, people relay stories of their experiences if they met that person. People in this group jumped all over this guy for posting the story. Saying it was inappropriate, and he should be saying condolences only. What? First, it is so unlikely that anyone on that helicopter had family on the Service Industry Bitch Group Page, so those condolences would not reach the intended people. Second, if this is how this person chose to cope with this tragedy, it is all good with me. People, sigh.

The next post came a few hours later. A bartender posted about a “grown ass man” with his head down, crying over Bryant’s death. He truly mocked this person. This time others jumped all over this guy for being an ass about the situation, including me. I said that while it may seem silly to him, this is how this man felt about Kobe Bryant, for whatever reason. Don’t diminish that guy’s feelings just because you don’t “get it.”

I am not an NBA person, I don’t follow basketball much. I have a lot of friends and family that do, however. One friend is a huge Lakers fan. He is taking this hard. He was the first person I thought of when we heard the news yesterday. Did he ever meet Kobe Bryant? No, I don’t believe so, but he followed him for his whole NBA career. He felt invested in this man. Who am I to discount what he is feeling after this? So I made a comment on one of his posts yesterday, basically trying to comfort him. It cost me nothing to do that, and if it made him feel better for even a second, it was a good thing.

Good news, bad news, it hits all of us differently. When it comes to famous people, we feel like we know them, even though we don’t. They are a part of your story if you admired them, no matter if you ever meet them in real life. So while some will really feel the pain of this, and some will post jokes and memes, it is all a part of a process and nobody has the right to mock how you are personally feeling about it. Feel your feelings, and when you are ready, move forward. The life we get is short, you get to live it and feel it however you see fit.

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