Vanessa Bryant Talks ‘Unimaginable’ Pain of Losing Kobe & Gianna, Plus: What Motivates Her in Life
It’s been over a year since Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna lost their lives in a tragic helicopter crash.
While many were heartbroken over the tragedy, no one feels the gravity of the loss more than his widow Vanessa and their daughters Natalia, 18, Bianka, 4, and Capri, 20 months.
In People magazine’s Women Changing the World issue, Vanessa admitted, “I can't say that I'm strong every day. I can't say that there aren't days when I feel like I can't survive to the next."
After Kobe died, Vanessa took the reins to finish the creative projects that he left behind, including his book “Geese Are Never Swans,” and his nonprofit organization Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation.
Despite the “unimaginable” pain, Vanessa has done everything in her power to “get up and push forward.” She said, “Lying in bed crying isn't going to change the fact that my family will never be the same again. But getting out of bed and pushing forward is going to make the day better for my girls and for me. So that's what I do."
Vanessa noted that she is focused on “finding the light in the darkness,” adding, “I guess the best way to describe it is that Kobe and Gigi motivate me to keep going.”
“They inspire me to try harder and be better every day. Their love is unconditional and they motivate me in so many different ways,” Vanessa elaborated.
Vanessa also made sure to give some credit to her daughters, saying, “My girls help me smile through the pain. They give me strength."
Vanessa’s purpose in life is to make “Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka and Capri proud."
Last month, a probable cause in the helicopter crash was released. The NTSB revealed that the crash was likely caused by “spatial disorientation” when the pilot Ara Zobayan flew into fog near Calabasas, California.
According to the NTSB, Zobayan may have lost visual sight when he was asked to “ident” by an air traffic controller. When a pilot idents, they have to put their hand in the center of instrument panel and push a button. In this case, it may have led to “operational distractions from his primary task of monitoring the flight instruments.”
NTSB chairman Robert Sumwalt explained, “The resulting descent and acceleration were conducive for the pilot to experience a somatogravic illusion in which he would incorrectly perceive that the helicopter was climbing when it was descending. The helicopter continued this steep descent the pilot was either not referencing the instruments or having difficulty interpreting or believing them due to the compelling vestibular illusions and he did not successfully recover the helicopter.”