Fans all over the world are celebrating the life of Kobe Bryant, who would have been 42 years old on Sunday. Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash with his daughter Gianna and seven other people back in January. Christina Mauser, a basketball coach at Bryant's Sports Academy, was one of the victims in the crash, and her husband, Matt Mauser, told PEOPLE he wants to honor her legacy during this tough time.
"I don't want my wife to just go unnoticed," Mauser said. "I'm trying to honor what she would want." Mauser is a musician as he's the frontman of a Sinatra Big Band, which is a tribute act, and a member of the band Tijuana Dogs. He told PEOPLE that music has helped through the grieving process. He recently came out with a song called "Lost," an emotional tribute to Christina. He said, "Being able to express how I feel on paper as a song, and writing music has been very helpful for me."
Mauser also revealed that he and Christina met at his Tijuana Dogs shows in 2004. And before Christina's death, the two wrote and recorded a song together called "Green Bike." However, Christina loved being a coach and was able to meet Bryant through Mauser. At the time, Mauser was writing music for Bryant's kid-friendly podcast The Punies. Bryant was looking for an assistant coach for his Sports Academy. Christina was able to get the job, and Mauser said, "[Kobe] gave her a lot of respect and let her do her thing. She felt really empowered."
Mauser, 50, told PEOPLE about the last time he talked to Christina before the crash. "She said 'I love you,' and I was so tired I didn't fully wake up," he said. "I didn't realize what had happened until she walked out our bedroom door." When Mauser received the news of the crash, he said "I just fell to the ground," he says. "It was the worst moment of my life."
Right now, Mauser and his three children, Penny, 12, Thomas, 10, and Ivy, 4, are getting support from family members and their community in Huntington Beach, California. As Mauser remembers Christina, Vanessa Bryant, Kobe Bryant's wife has gone to social media to send a birthday message to Kobe on Sunday. She has also posted photos and videos of the Los Angeles Lakers star on Monday, which was Kobe Bryant Day.