Grief counselor: Kobe’s death reminder of our mortality

West Bay

WARWICK. R.I. (WPRI) — After news broke about the deadly helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and seven others – social media was flooded with not only prayers and condolences – but also messages reminding people to cherish life, hug loved ones and let go of anger.

It’s a sad fact of life – people die unexpectedly every day. So, why do celebrity deaths – like Bryant’s – send such a widespread jolt through society?

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Dr. Therese Rando, a clinical phycologist in Warwick specializing in traumatic loss, said such high-profile and unexpected losses remind us how fleeting life really is.

“It presents us with vulnerability and fear,” Rando said. “People who are superheroes, people who are that talented, people who have that much to give, who are involved in charity, in doing good things as he was involved in doing at this stage of his life, they’re not supposed to die in a horrific crash.”

Rando said tragedies like Bryant’s death humanize those we idolize and violate our expectations.

“So, when that happens, this disabuses us of the notions that somehow there are protections between us and death,” she said.

Since no one is promised their next breath, Dr. Rando said people should always be aware of their mortality since it shapes every choice they make.

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