Kobe Bryant‘s widow Vanessa has broken her silence about the tragic death of the NBA legend and their 13-year-old daughter, saying she and her surviving girls are “completely devastated.”
In a post on Instagram, Vanessa paid tribute to her “adoring husband” and their “loving, thoughtful and wonderful” daughter Gianna, who were killed in a helicopter crash in California on Sunday, along with seven others.
“Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable,” she wrote. “I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever.”
Vanessa, 37, said “there aren’t enough words” to describe the pain she feels along with her daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and 7-month-old Capri.
“I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved,” Vanessa said.
“They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon.”
Vanessa extended her condolences to the families of the seven other people killed in the crash, writing that “we share in their grief intimately.”
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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 ❤️
Earlier on Wednesday, she paid tribute by changing her Instagram profile photo to one the father-daughter together at the last game of 41-year-old Bryant’s career in 2016, prior to his retirement from the Los Angeles Lakers.
In her first public statement, she thanked the outpouring of “support and love” she and her family have received since the tragedy, adding “thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them.”
Vanessa said she isn’t sure what her life holds in the future.
“It’s impossible to imagine life without them,” she wrote. “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.”
She added that Bryant’s Mamba Sports Foundation set up the MambaOnThree Fund to “help support the other families affected by this tragedy.”