Vanessa Bryant has spoken out for the first time since losing her world famous husband and beloved daughter.
The widow of Kobe Bryant, whose life changed forever in the most unimaginable way possible, took to Instagram on Wednesday night and issued a lengthy statement.
It accompanied this gorgeous photo of her family.
“My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time,” the 37-year-old wrote online just a short while ago, adding:
“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.”
Kobe and Gianna were two of nine people on board a private helicopter on Sunday morning when it crashed in a hillside near Calabasas, California.
There were no survivor.
In the days since this tragedy, an endless array of athletes, entertainers and folks from all walks of life have shared their tributes to the basketball legend.
But this post marked the first time his wife had said anything about the incomprehensible incident.
"We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately," Vanessa continued.
"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."
Vanessa went on to summon the sort of strength that would make her husband proud, touching on the future and how Kobe and Gianna would be looking down on their loved ones:
"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."
Vanessa then thanked the millions of people who have been there for her, or who have simply said kind things about Kobe as a man, athlete and role model:
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.
From there, she asked these same people to, if they so chose, to take the kind of action that would make Kobe proud and would also benefit a cause close to his heart:
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
We’ll continue to update this website with news as it breaks about Kobe and the crash that took his life.
Until then, we’ll continue to keep his loved ones in our thoughts.