Vanessa Bryant, the wife of Kobe Bryant, has broken her silence in an emotional message about dealing with the death of her husband and 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
On Wednesday night, Vanessa took to Instagram to thank the “millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time.”
“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,” Vanessa wrote.
She also sent her condolences to the seven other victims who lost their lives in the helicopter crash Sunday in Calabasas, California.
"We share in their grief intimately. There aren't enough words to describe our pain right now,” the mom wrote.
Kobe, 41, and Gianna were headed to Mamba Sports Academy, which Kobe co-founded, for a youth sports event when their helicopter crashed into a mountainside. The conditions were severely foggy that morning, and before the crash, air traffic control informed the helicopter’s pilot that he was flying too low to monitor them.
View this post on Instagram
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 ❤️
Vanessa and Kobe had been married since 2001 and had four children together.
"I'm not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it's impossible to imagine life without them," Vanessa also 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."
Vanessa's Instagram account had previously been private, but she switched it to public on Wednesday before posting the message. The post went alongside a smiling family photo. She also changed her main photo to a photo of Gianna and Kobe in a loving embrace.
Gianna’s basketball coach, Christina Mauser, and two of her teammates, Alyssa Altobelli, and Payton Chester were also aboard the helicopter, along with Sara Chester, John Altobelli, a head baseball coach at Orange Coast College and his wife, Keri, and helicopter pilot Ara Zobayan.
Vanessa added that their family set up a "MambaOnThree" fund to help the families of the other crash victims.