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How Christina Mauser’s Family Works Through Grief on Anniversary of Kobe Bryant Crash

This Tuesday, January 26, marks the one-year anniversary of the tragic helicopter crash that claimed the lives of Kobe and Gianna Bryant, Christina Mauser, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Payton Chester, Sarah Chester, and Ara Zobayan as they headed to a basketball tournament. All of the families continue to mourn their loved ones and are trying to find ways to cope with their loss.

For the family of Christina Mauser, a girls basketball coach at Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy, honoring her legacy as a mom and champion of female athletes is one way they are trying to move forward. Last year, the Mausers — dad Matt, daughters Penny, 12, and Ivy, 4, and son Thomas, 10 — created the , in partnership with Rose Bowl Institute, to provide scholarships and financial aid to female athletes who exemplify the sportsmanship and leadership qualities that Christina did. And on the anniversary of her passing, the foundation will host a private fundraiser, the Concert for Christina: A Musical Tribute and Fundraiser Benefiting The Christina Mauser Foundation. The concert will stream on MattMauser.com on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. and will honor all of the victims of the Calabasas helicopter crash. 

The Huntington, Beach, California, family will always grieve the loss of their wife and mother, but Matt Mauser says they are moving through their pain and having “better days” as time passes. “I look at grief as like a drunk uncle, you love them, but it’s like, you can only take them in so many doses,” told People. “Yeah come over sometimes but I don’t want you to stay too long. You’ve got to get out of here.”

Mauser has said the kids all have different responses to the grief of losing their mom. “I’ve tried to show them that it’s okay to be sad and vulnerable,” he said. “Sometimes we just need to cry these things through.” The loss of a parent is devastating, but it sounds like Mauser is helping his kids through the process in a healthy way while coping with his own emotions, too.

Music is one way Mauser, the frontman of Tijuana Dogs and Sinatra Big Band, and the kids work through their emotions. “We have one song we sing, Sinatra’s ‘I Thought About You’ — it’s a beautiful song,” Mauser said. “I play it on the piano, we all sing and we think of Mom.” He’s also channeled his grief into original songs, like “Lost,” an emotional tribute to Christina, and he and Penny wrote and recorded a song together called “Green Bike.” “Being able to express how I feel on paper as a song, and writing music has been very helpful for me,” he said.

Though Mauser says he knew his wife was an amazing person, in her absence he has discovered even more gratitude for who she was and all she did. “I appreciate her even more now that it’s me doing it,” he said. “My wife was my compass. My gift. I had 16 years with this amazing human being who taught me more than anybody else. And now I just have to be able to do that for my kids.”

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