It seemed surreal yesterday when the news broke. Living in Los Angeles, the mood was somber. When running into a friend, the immediate question was, “Did you hear what happened?” Fans shared their stories and news updates, still in shock.

We didn’t want it to be true. Nobody wanted it to be true. A basketball legend, a husband, a father…was gone. What made the situation even more horrific was hearing that his 13-year-old daughter was with him when the helicopter crashed over Calabasas, California.

Kobe Bryant was 41-years-old when he boarded a private helicopter in Orange County to fly to Thousand Oaks, CA. The distance wasn’t all that far, but the coastline was foggy. The pilot hovered inland waiting for the fog to clear.

Nobody expected the helicopter to crash. 9-1-1 calls reported a helicopter in trouble and a brush fire. Police and firefighters responded quickly. It was too late to save any lives. Instead, the news spread faster than any brush fire ever could. 

This horrific news hits home in a very real way. He was a father. He was with his daughter. His wife and three other daughters are without their sister and dad. Life changed in an instant. Fame, money, talent – none of that saved their lives. We’re definitely hugging our family and friends a little tighter today. 

Fans flocked to the crash site. They showed up at Staples Center, where Kobe’s jersey hangs in the rafters and where The Grammys were being held that very night. Fans also left momentoes next to a mural on Melrose Ave.

Now, one day later, there’s another mural, and this time it also features Kobe’s daughter, Gianna. This new mural is in the Mid-City area of Los Angeles. Along with a painting of the father and daughter’s faces, there are the word, “Kobe & Gigi Forever. Daddy’s Girl.”

We don’t know who the artist is, but we have to say that this is a beautiful way to mourn.