On Sunday morning, the Lakers community lost one of its legends in Kobe Bryant, a player that spent 20 years in Los Angeles and won five championships during that time. However, as dedicated as Bryant was to his craft, he had a life beyond basketball and a beautiful family, held together by his wife of 18 years Vanessa Bryant.
Kobe and Vanessa had four daughters: Natalia, Bianca, Capri and Gianna, the latter of whom was one of the nine people that were killed in the tragic helicopter crash on Sunday, along with her father. Gianna died at 13 years old.
With three days to try and process the sudden deaths of her husband and her daughter, Vanessa spoke for the first time on Wednesday through an Instagram post, which reads as follows:
My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri.
We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately.
There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon.
I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever.
Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality.
To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org.
To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org. Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me. #Mamba #Mambacita #GirlsDad #DaddysGirls #Family
When this article was published, mambaonthree.org couldn’t be reached, but that’s likely due to the amount of people trying donate. We urge our readers to do what they can to help the families that lost a loved one or, in some cases, loved ones. Additionally, continue to support the community that feels as though they lost a family member in Bryant.
After all, the best way to get through this is together. Even Kobe needed Shaq and Pau. These families need us now.