Four days after the tragic death of her husband, Kobe Bryant, and their 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, Vanessa Bryant has released an emotional statement thanking the public for their support during what has no doubt been the worst week of the 37-year-old’s life.
Accompanied by a photo of the family of six on her Instagram account, Vanessa wrote, “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,” 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.”
“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,” she finished.
Following the post, Vanessa’s Instagram was inundated with messages from celebrities and fans alike. Ellen DeGeneres, who broke down in tears during the first show after Kobe and Gianna’s passing, wrote, “There is so much love in the world for you right now. I hope you can feel it,” while US soccer player Alex Morgan commented, “I’m praying for you and your girls to get through this together. You are so loved and supported and I hope you feel that today and everyday.”
“You and your family, and the families of the others lost, are in everyone’s thoughts, prayers and hearts,” actress Sarah Michelle Gellar wrote, Dakota Fanning said in a comment that she is “praying for your family,” while Derek Hough put, “Anything and everything we can do for you and the families affected. We love you.”
“Sending all my love and prayers,” Lily Aldridge commented and Martha Hunt wrote, “Sending boundless love, light, and strength. God bless✨🙏”
Shortly after Vanessa’s post, Beyonce paid tribute to Kobe and Gianna, posting a photo of the pair on Instagram and writing, “I will continue to diligently pray for your Queens. You are deeply missed beloved Kobe.”
Kobe and Vanessa met when she was 17 and still at high school. He was 21. The couple married just a year later, in 2001, and went on to have four daughters together: Gianna, Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and 7-month-old Capri.