Dear Kobe,I wish that this letter had gotten to you while you were still on this earth with us.

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01 February 2020

Dear Kobe, I wish that this letter had gotten to you while you were still on this earth with us. I’m quite sure that we would’ve been friends. While we only got to shake hands a half dozen times over the last 20 years, there was never a moment that I walked away from you not feeling inspired. You were 19 and I was 18 when we first met. I remember thinking “Whoa, this guy is only four months older than me. I better get on it! I heard about an interview that you did that prompted me write this. When asked how you explain the complexity of death to your kids you simply said that you told them or to the effect of “That when a person dies they become made of stars.” Monday morning after your horrible crash, my little 2.5 yr old giggling daughter picked THIS shirt out of all of her shirts to wear.This tiny little girl in this tiny little shirt just rocked me and tears just streamed from my eyes. While no man is perfect & I’m not pretending to know your personal life, I respectfully only know the hardworking man who inspired millions and millions of us. A man that was proud of his family and cherished them. Your passion to invest in youth is what always struck me as such a powerful, smart & courageous element of your life. A gift to the world.To us all. None of us can comprehend the unimaginable pain & sadness that your beautiful wife and family are experiencing right now. This has hit and rocked our households in a way that I could have never thought. The sudden & violent loss of such an inspiring athlete, business man, philanthropist, husband and father, his young child and others has shaken us to our cores.This terrible event has not slapped us all in the face, but rather punched us so very hard in the gut. A major reality that we forget in our busy and noisy lives:That life is EXTREMELY fragile and can be taken away at any moment.It is our duty to love those around us and leave this planet better than when we came into it. We aim to send nothing but the most powerful and positive energy to your family. Rest In Peace Kobe with your little one and friends. With immense gratitude and appreciation, Ian Somerhalder