• Clarence K. Johnson


26 days into 2020.

My thoughts and actions are firmly focused on tending to seeds planted years before.

My garden is set to deliver on all fronts.

My faith is more absolute than ever.

The previous year was filled with steadfast miracle manifestation and sabbatical solitude for urgent overdue healing .

I found 2020 with a new sense of purpose and a powerfully evolved relationship to the Lord of Hosts.

Life is beginning to teach me again.

Everything I knew before had been spent. Chains were broken.

Seas parted. My enemies washed away in antiquated turbulence.

Yet within all of this radical evolvement

One critical test was yet to be

In the form of a text received from my closest friend -

“Did you hear about Kobe Bryant”?

Death and I are not friends.

However - death still remains as one of my most profound educators.

Each new death experience revealed a new strength.

A new wisdom buried beneath the ashes.

Whether it’s losing my Father to terminal Cancer in 2018, or relinquishing two beloved fur kids to death’s non- familial embrace after 18.5 years of unconditional love.

So at the sight of a text on January 26th, 2020 - Death delivered it’s first calling card.

Every loss bears a similar signature.

A late night / early morning call.

A connected passerby bearing grave news .

Or an ominously inquisitive text from a close friend.

Death has a calling card.

The news of Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s tragic transition had the authentic sting of grief that only death could design.

Did I know them?

Personally - I did not.

Celebrity and pauper alike- death does not discriminate.

To him - we are all worthy of his kiss.

Equality is the one thing we share when viewed by his eyes that makes us one .

No Race. No wealth. No discerning features to bribe him.

As I age- I learn.

I’ve even come to conclude success in my life by the ease and quality of learning experiences I personally get to choose.

By example -I am now a continuing education A student going for a Science BA degree in Counseling .

I study scripture, spiritual mysticism and home improvement skills for my new apt makeover.

In observation of my listed studies - my life is definitely on an upswing.

Sometimes the hardest lessons in life are the ones that cut deepest.

The reluctant epiphany.

The experience of death is as concurrent to humanity as life and our often wanton celebration thereof.

I didn’t have to know Kobe and Gianna to love them.

Kobe and Gianna died in each others arms.

Father and Daughter.

One of the most powerful representations of love known to us.

Love is all there is. All there should be.

And the only thing we as humans can count on as eternal.

Did death choose to upstage this by utilizing Facebook to share witness to the helicopter crash?

A friend sent it to me -the footage- today.

I was devastated. At first.

And I immediately responded to the message received by declaring my fondness for this person but… I never wanted him or anyone else to send me something so intentionally coldhearted again.

He agreed.

But the pictures of Kobe and Gianna…

Each one eclipsing the one before with ever radiating brilliance of a Dad in love with his precious baby girl.

And I wrapped myself up in all of the pictures of them I could find.

From infant to toddler to teenager. Love. Love. More Love.

In closing , I say this -

At the start of 2020, my relationship with death has evolved.

Kobe and Gianna’s passing is not the end.

Kobe and Gianna’s fiery demise was not representative of who they were as humans.

As a Father who lived for his kids.

As a daughter who adored her Dad.

In Kobe and Gianna’s passing -

Death was defeated.

For me - their love, (Father and Daughter ) wiped out everything else.

Even death.

If there is understanding to be had - let it be this.

Love like you meant it.

Like Kobe.

Like Gianna.

Like a Father should love his daughter.

Like a daughter who adored her Daddy.

Like The Christ who undoubtedly welcomed them home to the Kingdom.

This way - when death eventually finds you.

Love will be the light that overpowers the passing.

The loss.

The inevitable transition.

Thank you Kobe.

Thank you Gianna.

For your love . Your dying embrace. Your legacy of life lived best in Love.

When I go - I will meet death with Love.

Just like the two of you did.

Forever illuminated by the immense light of the most powerful force in our universe.

Clarence K Johnson

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Kobe And Gianna Bryant: A Love Story To Live By.

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