Writer Briefly Compares Kobe Memorial
with Silver Lake Celebration of Life July 26
Today was the two-hour Celebration of Life in a public memorial held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles to remember Basketball Great Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others who died in a helicopter crash last month. The pain of loss was clearly evident among the speakers and his wife, Vanessa, but also clearly evident were the positive aspects of Kobe's life for which so many fans and non-fans alike are grateful.
Many of us became all the more aware of Kobe as a determined individual with goals backed up by hard work and determination; Kobe as a committed father to his daughters, finding time to enhance each of their lives; and equally important, Kobe as a husband, best friend, and powerfully loving individual who brought such joy to his wife. The service literally provided words of help and guidance on how to live a more fulfilling life.
The crowd of 20,000 were very responsive to family members, guests, and those who were asked to speak (which included Vanessa). Applause under girded the speakers and brought renewed strength to their difficult task.
Though the Silver Lake's lake-wide Celebration of Life annual service is considerably smaller and a lot shorter, it is one of our most popular and largest attended events at SLI, with an attendance closer to 156. Each year we serve between 14 and 21 families, and invite the family and friends to join us in listening to the life highlights of those who have passed from us since the previous July.
Some families wish to read or present these highlights themselves, while others opt for one of our leaders to speak on their behalf. Each name is read individually, a beautiful bell is chimed for each, the highlights are spoken followed by a family member or friend being presented with a virtual candle and a rose. The family member or friend then returns to their seat. After the highlights and presentations, all are welcomed to be a part of the reception which follows.
This special lake-wide service (from all communities around the lake) was first developed by the late Rev. Walter Barger who used to be a retired summer resident on Harris Ave. After his passing the Spiritual Life Committee took over and developed the service further to meet the needs of the lake's communities. If you are aware of a name which is not listed in our "Deaths" record on page 1 (right hand column), please notify us with your name and number and the name and date of the individual who passed. It is important to us that we don't miss or overlook anyone. Call 493-4003.