Local counseling service offers advice as millions mourn death of Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during a freethrow in the first half against the Houston Rockets at Staples Center on March 30, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)


By Neil Doyle

BLOOMINGTON – The country continues to mourn the loss of NBA legend Kobe Bryant and the eight others who died in a helicopter crash Sunday in Calabasas, California.

While millions of people never met him, the news of Bryant’s death rocketed around the sports and entertainment worlds, with many taking to Twitter to register their shock, disbelief and anguish.

To understand the mourning process, Integrity Counseling in Bloomington spoke with WJBC’s Marc Strauss.

Integrity’s Becky Hart said so many are hurt because celebrities like Bryant bring us together.

“When you go to a game or concert there are millions of people that are all together for the same reason.  Celebrities appear larger than life and we don’t think anything can happen to them, so when a tragedy strikes, it hits people really hard and it makes them reflect on their own life as well,” said Hart.

It’s okay to mourn, according to Hart, but if you’re becoming overwhelmed there are a few things you should do.

“Stop watching so much media coverage of the accident and the tragedy,” she said.  “What you can do is go online and find highlights of Bryant on the basketball court and focus on the positives.”

Bryant, 41, won five NBA titles during his 20-year career with the Lakers.

CNN reports while authorities try to determine what went wrong, investigators are struggling to find clues in difficult conditions.

“It’s a logistical nightmare in a sense because the crash site itself is not easily accessible,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said.
The effort to recover the victims’ bodies has started but could take days, given the terrain and the condition of the site, Los Angeles County Chief Medical Examiner Jonathan Lucas said.
Neil Doyle can be reached at neil.doyle@cumulus.com


Labor Day – Expanding voting rights for all

By Mike Matejka Because of COVID, there is no Labor Day Parade this year.  It’s always a great event for our everyday workers to march proudly down the street and enjoys the festive crowd. If there had been a parade, this year’s Labor Day theme was to be “150 years of struggle: your right to vote.” …

Is federal mobilization the answer?

By Mike Matejka As President Donald Trump threatens to send federal marshals into Chicago, over the objections of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, recall another Illinois Governor who protested the incursion of armed federal personnel into the city.   Those federal troops, rather than calming, escalated the situation, leading to deaths and violence. Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay…

In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…