Specter of death seems to haunt Lamar Odom

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You think Lamar Odom lives a charmed life. Professional basketball player, complete with championship rings. Reality television star. His own line of clothing.

But Lamar Odom knows tragedy. All too well. He had to bury his mom at age 12. His grandmother raised him from there but she passed in 2004. In 2006 his own son Jayden died of SIDS.

Last month Odom was back in his New York for a Nike photo shoot and to attend the funeral of a 24-year-old cousin. Odom had hired a service to drive him around. Going through Queens the car Odom was in collided with a motorcycle, which lost control and hit a 15-year-old pedestrian, Awsaf Alvi Islam. It was bad, Odom said he looked into the youth’s eyes after the accident and knew. Islam died the next day from head trauma suffered in the accident.

All this has hit Odom hard, he told Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times.

“Death always seems to be around me,” Odom said in a low tone. “I’ve been burying people for a long time. When I had to bury my child, I probably didn’t start grieving until a year and a half later.

“I think the effects of seeing [my cousin] die and then watching this kid die, it beat me down. I consider myself a little weak. I thought I was breaking down mentally. I’m doing a lot of reflecting.”

Go read the whole piece, it’s powerful. Read about how Odom has searched his soul and leaned on his wife, Khloe Kardashian. How he has had to take on responsibilities he was not ready for, like making the funeral arrangements for his cousin. It all has not been easy for Odom, not by a long shot.

“I was leaning over the casket and I was talking to my cousin. I was telling him that I wish the first words from Khloe to him was ‘Hi and not bye.’ It’s tough when someone gets murdered.

“Then it’s what it has done to me emotionally and physically. It’s someone that you love. I’ve had to tell myself that I will get through this. And I will. I have to.”