January 30, 2020
On Sunday, it was 40ºF out and I was waiting for a train in Cold Spring, New York. I was ill-prepared and freezing, wearing Jeff’s lightweight Patagonia jacket and my own t-shirt underneath, clumsily tucking my icy fingers into the sleeves that stretch below my knuckles (as all his sleeves do). It was the end of a day following what had been our regular Sunday itinerary: a hike, a local beer, a walk down a little town’s main drag before confronting the Sunday scaries awaiting us in the city.
I Lost My Husband Suddenly. Heres What Kobe Bryants Death Taught Me About Grief
With at least 15 minutes until the train would arrive to cart me and our dog back to Manhattan, I felt my phone vibrate in my back pocket. I took it out assuming my friend was texting about our evening plans, only to read a CBS Sports alert that the larger-than-life, invincible Kobe Bryant had died in a helicopter accident.
I’m not much of a basketball fan, but Kobe’s legendary status wasn’t lost on me, the sister of a devout NBA follower and the best friend of a Los Angeles native who wore Kobe’s number 24 jersey the day I met him and quite literally every day in college.
“Oh my god,” I said loudly to no one, shocked by what I’d just learned. 
But then I was shocked again... to be shocked. Of all the people who understand how suddenly death can happen, I’m the first in line.Less than two years ago, Jeff, my husband, was killed in an accident that sent waves through our community and upended my entire life. Jeff was larger than life and invincible in his own way: a mentor to countless young men in Connecticut and Washington, DC. A colleague known for amping up his team with encouragement and ice cream bars during otherwise dull meetings. A total goofball who loved to get a playful rise out of me before he left for work by pointing finger guns in our bathroom mirror and exclaiming, “YOU are a good-lookin’ guy.”
That very good-lookin’ guy was hit by a semitruck on a sunny DC Saturday morning while riding his bike to his regular yoga class. I stayed in the hospital by his side, surrounded by doctors buzzing in and out of the ICU, as phones vibrated in friends’ pockets across the country with the news that the class president and lacrosse team captain-turned-Capitol Hill staffer and newlywed dog dad was fighting for his life in ways no one wants to imagine. Thirty-six hours later, their phones would vibrate again with the news that he didn’t make it. My Mr. Invincible was gone.
If you had asked me a week ago, “How would you react to the sudden death of a figure like Kobe Bryant, given what you’ve faced?” my honest answer would have likely been: “That’s devastating, and it’s sadly a part of life.”Less than two years ago, Jeff, my husband, was killed in an accident that sent waves through our community and upended my entire life.Sudden deaths of the kind that took Kobe and my husband ― fatal accidents during otherwise mundane activities that turn horribly wrong ― are rare. But they happen. “Shocked” would not be the reaction I’d expect from myself. Sudden death runs through my brain all the time, draining me even when I don’t quite realize it or want to admit it. It now defines me in many ways. I’m wise enough to know that to many, or maybe to all, I’m not just Kaylie anymore. I’m Kaylie “the girl whose husband, that popular guy Jeff, was hit by a truck, I have no idea how she’s surviving after he died, I couldn’t imagine.” 
And yet shock is precisely what I found myself feeling on Sunday afternoon, which raised real questions for me about my own grief. The fact that I was shocked by a freak accident, the kind that stole my husband less than two years ago, produced a new kind of survivor’s guilt: If I was shocked, did that mean I... had forgotten about Jeff? Was I too distant from his memory? Had I done the unthinkable and “moved on”? If I was shocked ― just as millions of people whose husbands hadn’t been hit by trucks were ― what did that say about me?
I believe it says that while grief that stops you in your tracks ― quietly and discreetly crying to no one when you step off the train at Cold Spring to discover that it’s exactly the kind of downtown Jeff would have wanted to take you to on date day ― is an outgrowth of sudden death, resilience can be a part of it, too.I certainly haven’t ‘moved on’ ― I never will. But I have slowly, messily and painfully moved forward. I’m also not normal, and neither is my ‘situation,’ as I awkwardly call it. But parts of my life are.I certainly haven’t “moved on” ― I never will. But I have slowly, messily and painfully moved forward. I’m also not normal, and neither is my “situation,” as I awkwardly call it. But parts of my life are. Like millions around the globe, I really need to fold the massive pile of laundry that’s sat by my bed for three days now. I’m wondering which is better, the cute jeans or the cute dress, for hinting “I think I might like you” just subtly and cooly enough over drinks. I plan to spend tonight ordering through Seamless and laughing along to John Mulaney’s new comedy special on Netflix if I finish my work on time. I really owe my retired father a phone call. 
I wish Kobe Bryant’s wife Vanessa, their daughters and his whole family weren’t the newest members of the shittiest club in the world. More experienced members of this club, like me, can understand what his family is facing now and the isolation that’s to come, especially as other mourners may move forward more quickly.
But, at the same time, we have no idea what they’re going through at all because this kind of grief hits every person differently. They may face their own downtown Cold Spring moments that stop them in their tracks when they thought everything was going pretty much okay. They may have grief and the impact of sudden death running in the backs of their brains, draining them even when they don’t quite realise it or want to admit it. But hopefully, one day, they’ll also be shocked by the resilience that exists in all of us. 
Kaylie Hanson Long is the founder of KHL Consulting, a communications firm dedicated to advancing gender equality. She is a dog mom to her sweet hound, Layla. You can follow her on Twitter at @KaylieEHanson and Instagram at @KaylieEHanson_. This article first appeared on HuffPost US Personal.
Have a compelling personal story you want to tell? Find out what we’re looking for here, and pitch us on ukpersonal@huffpost.comMore from HuffPost UK Personal I’m A Mental Health Nurse. This Is What It’s Like On The Frontline Of Our Strained Services I Was Diagnosed With MS At 22. Now I’m Trying To Change The Narrative On Chronic Illness Five Years On, This Is How My Grief For My Brother Is Still Changing
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Jenna Dewan: Channing Tatum ‘wasn’t available’ after I gave birth to Everly | Page Six
August 03, 2021
pkS5yBjVI08
Top 5 reasons you need to watch 'The Real Housewives of Potomac' | Page Six Celebrity News
August 02, 2021
lJmuiwtEdt4
Kit Harington ‘really happy’ he went to rehab after ‘Game of Thrones’ | Page Six Celebrity News
August 02, 2021
4JOAMOzRsFc
"Bachelorette" Break Up, Kim's Resting Beach Face & Diddy Trolling Bennifer?
August 03, 2021
ZXexBepqk7o
"So Freakin’ Cheap" Secrets, "Love After Lockup" Drama & More
August 03, 2021
S6GDu1pwwkI
Netflix's "Vivo" Official Trailer
August 03, 2021
qF7nTbMDC8A
'Cake Boss' Buddy Valastro Says Gigi Hadid Cried When They Met | TMZ
August 03, 2021
DnU3OXF-s8U
The Weeknd is Sober ... Kind of |TMZ TV
August 03, 2021
pJADE39u87M
Britney Spears Befriends a Pig While Vacationing in Hawaii | TMZ TV
August 03, 2021
2xmdCOFolo0
Jennifer Hudson's Favorite Aretha Franklin Performances
August 04, 2021
c5h-QOlBaxw
Terry Crews - Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremony - Live Stream
July 30, 2021
VbmVHAEBz-w
Comcast's Q2 Beats Wall Street's Expectations
July 29, 2021
401AYi2eNCc
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
19
Nov
ASIAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group H
Sydney FC - Shanghai SIPG
17
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Spain - Germany
14
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Germany - Ukraine
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Liverpool
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Aston Villa
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Valencia - Real Madrid
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Verona
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Bromwich Albion - Tottenham Hotspur
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Napoli
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Genoa - Roma
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Inter Milan
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - Juventus
08
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen - Borussia Monchengladbach
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leicester City - Wolves
08
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Wolfsburg - Hoffenheim
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Valladolid - Athletic Bilbao
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Levante - Alaves
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Sociedad - Granada CF
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Torino - Crotone
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Villarreal
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - Bayern Munich
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Manchester United
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Sheffield United
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Cadiz
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Real Betis
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Augsburg - Hertha Berlin
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Stuttgart - Eintracht Frankfurt
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
RB Leipzig - SC Freiburg
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Rotherham - Preston NE
07
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Parma - Fiorentina
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Watford - Coventry
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Norwich City - Swansea City
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackburn - QPR
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Derby County - Barnsley
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Huddersfield - Luton
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Nottingham Forest - Wycombe Wanderers
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Fulham
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Sheffield Wednesday - Millwall
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Brentford - Middlesbrough
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Birmingham - Bournemouth
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Sevilla - Osasuna
07
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Benevento - Spezia
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Crystal Palace - Leeds
04
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Ferencvaros - Juventus
04
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Barcelona - Dynamo K.
03
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group A
Salzburg - Bayern Munich
03
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group D
Atalanta - Liverpool
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.