Vanessa Bryant speaks out for the first time on the death of her husband, 41-year-old NBA star Kobe Bryant, and their 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Maria Onore.
Kobe and GiGi died Sunday in a helicopter crash on their way to a basketball game that also saw the lives of seven other people lost. The cause of the accident is still under investigation, though it has been said heavy fog may have been a factor.
"My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time," Vanessa Bryant posted on Instagram Wednesday. "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."
Vanessa added: "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," she continued. "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."
Vanessa Bryant thanks fans for Kobe Bryant support
Vanessa Bryant also thanked the many fans for the outpouring of support.
"Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us," she said. "We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality."
Vanessa Bryant aks that fans help out and donate to the Team Mamba charity.
"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," she said. "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."