Kobe Bryant's Wife Vanessa Pays Tribute to Late Daughter Gigi with Heartfelt Posts
Vanessa Bryant continues to remember her loved ones after their tragic deaths. The heartbroken mom devoted a heartfelt post to her late daughter, Gianna, shortly after paying tribute to her deceased husband, Kobe.
No words can begin to express the amount of pain Vanessa must be going through right now. Kobe Bryant's widow has been channeling some of those emotions into social media posts, including a recent one dedicated to Gianna, fondly called Gigi.
Vanessa took to Instagram on Wednesday with a photo from Gigi's jersey retirement ceremony at Harbor Day School in Newport Beach. The snapshot, taken in the school gym, featured a TV screen with a smiling photo of Gigi.
The new logo features Kobe's Los Angeles Lakers' jersey numbers, 8 and 24, as well as Gigi's Number 2.
The school also put up red heart balloons alongside pink-and-red floral arrangements that read "GIANNA" and number "2." The latter was in honor of Gigi's basketball jersey number at her father's Mamba Sports Academy.
"My Gianna. God, I miss you," Vanessa's heartbreaking caption read. "I've been so lucky to have woken up to see your gorgeous face and amazing smile for 13 years. Wish it would've been until my last breath."
The former video model, who is still a mom to her and Kobe's three other daughters, went on to declare her undying love for Gigi. "Mommy loves you to the moon and back," she added alongside a hashtag of the late teenager's nickname, Mambacita.
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 later shared a picture of Gigi's framed jersey and a clip of one school official unveiling the frame in front of other students. The proud mom then praised her daughter for teaching the virtue of kindness in her the short time she lived.
Gigi, 13, and Kobe, 41, died in a helicopter crash on January 26. The father-daughter duo was headed to a basketball game with six other people who, along with the pilot, all died in the accident.
Authorities have identified all of the victims in yesterday's tragic helicopter crash. RIP Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, and Ara Zobayan. Our thoughts and prayers are with you ❤️ pic.twitter.com/ex0WTClmvu— Clevver News (@ClevverTV) January 27, 2020
Vanessa, 37, broke her silence for the first time last week with a touching post about how devastated their family is in the wake of Kobe and Gigi's deaths. According to PEOPLE, an insider also revealed she's still trying to process the tragedy.
"The shock hasn't entirely worn off," the source reportedly said about Vanessa. "She's very tired; she hasn't been sleeping. She's worried about her girls, worried about what happens next."
Vanessa's tribute to Gigi came hours after she remembered her "best friend," Kobe, in another Instagram post. The former couple met on the set of a music video when she was just 17 and had been married since 2001.
Vanessa confessed in her caption that she was missing the late NBA legend "so much," describing him in a series of hashtags as "sweet," "funny," "the best daddy" to their daughters and a "loving husband."
That same day, CNN reported, Kobe's Mamba Sports Academy unveiled a commemorative new logo that will be worn as a patch on Team Mamba's youth team uniforms. The design pays tribute to all members of the academy who lost their lives in the crash.
The new logo features Kobe's Los Angeles Lakers' jersey numbers, 8 and 24, as well as Gigi's Number 2. It also includes the numbers 14 and 5 in honor of Gigi's teammates Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester, who were also on the chopper.
Finally, the commemorative patch featured the initials CM for Christina Mauser, the girls' basketball coach who worked alongside Kobe to train the youth league.
Alyssa's parents, John and Keri Altobelli, Payton's mom Sarah Chester, and the helicopter pilot Ara Zobayan, also lost their lives in the devastating crash.