Vanessa Bryant Thanked Fans For The Love After Losing Kobe And Gianna

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On Sunday, nine people, including Kobe and Gianna Bryant, were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas on their way to a basketball game. The devastating news rocked the NBA world and beyond, and in the days since, there have been numerous tributes to Kobe, Gianna, and the seven others that lost their lives Sunday morning.

Teams around the league have honored Kobe with moments of silence and taking 8 and 24-second violations to open the game. Players like Joel Embiid and Trae Young have changed their numbers to 24 and 8 in his honor, while others have taken steps to informally retire his number by changing numbers permanently from those two. Kobe’s most famous former teammate, Shaquille O’Neal, offered a heartfelt message on TNT’s hour-long tribute to Bryant, and athletes and fans from around the world have offered their thoughts and love to the Bryant family in this tremendously difficult time.

On Wednesday evening, Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s wife and Gianna’s mother, issued her first public statement on Instagram, giving her sincere thanks to the everyone who has shown them love and support, while also offering information on a fund set up to assist the other families impacted by the tragedy through the Mamba Sports Foundation.

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 ❤️

A post shared by Vanessa Bryant ???? (@vanessabryant) on

“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 ❤️”

What the Bryant’s, Altobelli’s, Chester’s, Mauser’s, and Zobayan’s are going through right now is incomprehensible, and as Vanessa notes in her post, they are requesting privacy as they try to navigate an incredibly difficult time. To even send out this post had to have taken an incredible amount of strength.

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