Vanessa Bryant Pays Tribute to Kobe & Gianna on 1st Anniversary of Their Deaths
Exactly a year ago, Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna lost their lives in a helicopter crash, which also killed seven others.
Kobe’s widow Vanessa took to Instagram to remember the late basketball legend and their daughter on the sad anniversary.
Along with posting a letter from Gianna’s friend Aubrey Callaghan, Vanessa wrote, “Thank you so much for beautifully sharing some of your memories of my Gigi with me and allowing me to share them here on my ig. My Gigi is INCREDIBLE and I truly appreciate your thoughtful letter. She loves you so much.”
Reflecting on the tough year without Kobe and Gianna, Vanessa shared, “I miss my baby girl and Kob-Kob so much, too. ♥️I will never understand why/how this tragedy could’ve happened to such beautiful, kind and amazing human beings. It still doesn’t seem real. Kob, we did it right. Gigi, you still make mommy proud. I love you!”
In the letter, Aubrey opened up about how Gianna would “push [her] to be better,” adding that she hopes her future daughters turn out “exactly as [Vanessa’s] did.”
Aubrey admitted, “There are times I get into a pit of despair thinking about her and what she could’ve accomplished had she had a couple more years. But recently I have been thinking about the mark she did leave on this earth. Her fights for equality in sports made the world reconsider there opinions, she along with Mr. Bryant, set the wheels in motion. But on a lower level, on behalf of every person who came across her, I can say that she changed our lives.”
Over a week ago, Vanessa opened up about her struggles with grief. She told her Instagram followers, “Let me be real — Grief is a messed up cluster of emotions. One day you’re in the moment laughing and the next day you don’t feel like being alive. I want to say this for the people struggling with grief and heartbreaking loss. Find your reason to live.”
While Bryant noted how “hard” it is, she revealed, “I look at my daughters and I try to push through that feeling for them. Death is guaranteed but living the rest of the day isn’t. Find your reason.”
Throughout the year, Vanessa has taken to social media to remember Kobe and Gianna on special occasions, including their birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and Christmas.
On Kobe’s birthday in August, Vanessa stressed how she “wanted to go first.” She said, “I wish I could wake up from this horrible nightmare. I wish I could surprise our girls and welcome you and Gigi home to us. I’m mad I didn’t go first. I always wanted to go first so that I selfishly didn’t have to feel this heartache. You were supposed to miss me. Gigi was supposed to be here with her sisters. It should’ve been me.”
Many big names, including Michael B. Jordan and Robin Roberts, also remembered Kobe and Gianna a year after their passing. Michael wrote on Instagram, "Don’t think I could recap a year any clearer from the moment I heard the news until today. Appreciation of family. Of time. & purpose is heavy on my mind this morning. Sending love & healing energy to the Bryant family. Rest in Power. You’ll never be forgotten. #mamba #mambacita."
Robin tweeted, "Many of us remember hearing the news of the tragic death of #KobeBryant and his sweet daughter #Gianna. It was one year ago today and next on @GMA how many are paying tribute to Kobe’s life & legacy.”
Kobe's former teammate Shaquille O'Neal told the "Today" show last week, "You know, it’s still kind of hard. [I] redid my living room, redid my gym. His picture is up on the wall. He was already a legend. He was already a guy that will never be forgotten, but he was definitely, definitely gone too soon.”
See more tweets below.
I can’t believe it’s been one year since we experienced the tragic loss of my brother, my friend, Kobe Bryant. It still doesn’t feel real.
It’s been a year and it still feels unreal. I send my prayers and thoughts to the family and loved ones of Kobe Bryant. RIP to one of the greatest competitors the world has ever known. His legacy of hard work, skill, and dedication will live on forever. #MambaForeverpic.twitter.com/iomaDOKrC9