In the wake of Kobe and Gianna Bryant's tragic death on Jan. 26, people around the world are struggling to come to terms with this gut-wrenching accident, sports fans or not. The day following the devastating news, blogger Heather Delaney wrote a heartfelt tribute to the other seven passengers who passed away in the helicopter crash, and her thoughts are particularly poignant.
"To the Family of the Other Seven Passengers, I need you to know something. I need you to know that every time I think of the loss of Kobe and Gigi, I think of your loved ones, too," wrote Heather. "I need you to know that the heartache that I feel for The Bryants, I feel for your family, too. I need you to know that your loved ones? Your loved ones are not forgotten in this tragedy. They are not lost in the mourning of Kobe; not ignored in the grieving of Gigi."
She continued, noting that although much of the world is in complete and utter disbelief over the deaths of one of basketball's greatest players and his 13-year-old daughter, the rest of the passengers will not be overlooked.
"I need you to know that the world is aware that there were nine lives lost in that helicopter crash," she said. "Not just two. I need you to know that our hearts hurt for each and everyone of them. For the incredible lives that are no more this side of heaven. And for what their beautiful journeys on this earth could have been. We will miss their presence in this world. All nine of them."
"I need you to know that our hearts hurt for each and everyone of them."
"I need you to know that every court side photo we see of Kobe and Gigi, we know that there are seven more angels in that photo, too," Heather wrote. "I need you to know that every article we read that speaks of Kobe and Gigi, we know that there are seven more angels in that article, too. I need you to know that every memorial shrine that is created for Kobe and Gigi, we know that the lives of seven more angels are in that shrine, too."
While it brings tears to our eyes to even consider what the victims were feeling and thinking about in their last moments, Heather is confident that all nine of the passengers are together in spirit.
"I cannot imagine what was said amongst the nine of them when they realized their fate. The fear in their eyes; the white on their knuckles," she wrote. "But what I do know is that while nine people went down in that helicopter Sunday morning, nine people also walked into heaven together then, too. And I will be praying for each and everyone of them."