Kobe Bryant's Wife Vanessa Posts Photo of Daughter Gigi's Retirement Ceremony & Heartfelt Note
Vanessa Bryant took to Instagram to share photos of the touching retirement ceremony held for her daughter, Gianna Bryant, at her school.
Losing a loved one is hard. The endless yearnings of the heart to have them with you, the understanding that dawns when one realizes that new memories can no longer be made, can be disheartening.
In the days following her husband and daughter’s death, Vanessa Bryant shared posts that have had people feeling the pain she feels.
Most recently, when her daughter’s school decided to host a wake keep service for the late Mambacita in which Gianna’s number two jersey was retired, Vanessa shared some of the moments with loved ones.
One of such posts was a photo of the set-up of the service. The image showed Gianna’s name and jersey number written out with an image of the late 13-year-old on a screen. Vanessa captioned it saying:
“My Gianna. God I miss you. 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.”
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 ❤️
The picture which looked to have been taken at Gianna’s Harbor Day School in Newport Beach was the first in a series of other independent posts Vanessa made about the service.
While the comments section was disabled, people took to other posts to share their thoughts and well-wishes with Vanessa and her family, urging her to hold out and be strong.
The league is "devastated" over the loss of the nine victims, and they plan to honor Gianna as well as her teammates.
The memorial service was a sad, yet brightening one. Sad because Gianna would no longer be there with them to make new memories but brightening because the life of the teenager will be remembered for all the good she did.
Students and staff of Harbor Day School in Newport Beach took to the podium to speak beautiful words about how Gianna had always been a leader and joy to be around. And Vanessa sharing a picture of the framed number two jersey said:
“My Gigi. I love you! I miss you. You’ve taught us all that no act of kindness is ever too small. Mommy is still and will ALWAYS be so proud of you mamacita.”
Gianna, her father, Kobe Bryant, and seven others died when the helicopter they were flying in crashed in Calabasas, California, last month while on their way to a special basketball event at the Mamba’s Sports Academy.
The death which took the world by surprise has left many people teary-eyed at the loss of not just Kobe and Gianna but the loss of the other seven lives, including three members of the Altobelli family.
Gianna, who told her coach she wanted to play for the boys' team of her school at one point, will always be remembered as not just the thirteen-year-old that died but as a leader who represented the Mamba mentality.
Similarly, WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert speaking out on the tragedy said the league is "devastated" over the loss of the nine victims, and they plan to honor Gianna as well as her teammates, Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester who also died in the crash.