Whenever Lamar Odom is on the floor, his smile and jovial attitude inspires the team, and by the looks of it, he seems like a very happy man. However, his life experiences outside of basketball are not as celebratory, and he has witnessed tragedy in nearly every stage of his life.
At the age of 12, Odom saw his mother die of colon cancer, and in 2004 he saw the passing of his grandmother. There are aunts, cousins and friends, Odom said, all of them were “taken away from me.”
Even his infant son, Jayden, was taken away from Odom in 2006 when he died of sudden infant death syndrome in his crib.
Odom has been trying to find ways to deal with the deaths, and he even thought about seeing a psychologist to help him cope with the losses. He is currently reading “Embraced by the Light,” by Betty J. Eadie, a book that touches on prayers and devotions for daily living.
Sadly, Odom’s life took another tragic turn when he attended his 24 year-old cousin’s funeral on July 13th. While in New York the very next day, Lamar Odom witnessed another death, this time of a stranger.
Odom was a passenger in an SUV when it hit a motorcycle and caused a fatal crash. The motorcycle went out of control and hit pedestrian Awsaf Alvi Islam. The 15-year old boy died from head injuries the following day. “I think the effects of seeing [my cousin] die and then watching this kid die, it beat me down,” said Odom. “I consider myself a little weak. I thought I was breaking down mentally. I’m doing a lot of reflecting.”
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the car crash victim’s family, as well as Lamar Odom.