The minute the world learned about the tragic helicopter crash that killed legendary basketball icon Kobe Bryant, shock and grief enveloped everynody. Moreover, hearts were broken twice on Sunday after it was revealed that Kobe was also on board with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna "Gigi" Bryant.
Sympathies and messages of condolences immediately raced through Vanessa Bryant, a woman who did not just lose the love of her life but also her dear daughter. Indeed, the pain fans feel could not be compared to the pain Vanessa is going through right now.
A few days after the devastating news rocked the entire sports world, Kobe's wife of nearly 20 years finally breaks her silence on the tragic death of her husband and daughter in a heartfelt social media post.
On Wednesday evening, the 37-year-old mother and wife took to Instagram to express gratitude to their family's supporters and plead for their privacy in this horrible time of their life.
Vanessa began by thanking the friends and fans who showed their undying support to Kobe and Gigi until their final days.
View this post on InstagramMy 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 ️ A post shared by Vanessa Bryant (@vanessabryant) on Jan 29, 2020 at 4:59pm PST
"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," Vanessa wrote.
She described her 41-year-old husband as an amazing father to their four children, while she described Gigi as a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter and sister to Natalia, Bianka and Capri.
"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," Vanessa continued.
"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."
The mother of four also said that although it seems impossible to restart their life without Kobe and Gigi, they are still hopeful that their beautiful souls light their way to recovery.
"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."
Vanessa also shared their grief with the families and loved ones of the seven other passengers who died in the tragic accident.
In the end, the now-widow plead for the public to grant them respect and privacy as they go through such a devastating point in their life. She also thanked the supporters for lifting them up through prayers.
Vanessa also encouraged their supporters to donate any help to the Mamba Sports Foundation, which aims to support the other families affected by the tragedy.
The 18-time NBA All-Star and his aspiring basketball player daughter died after their helicopter slammed into a hillside near Malibu in Los Angeles County on Sunday. They are on their way to a basketball tournament at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks when the accident happened.