(WTNH) — Kobe Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, has made her first public comment since her husband and daughter were killed in a helicopter crash in the Calabasas area of Los Angeles on Sunday.
In an Instagram post, Vanessa, who has four daughters with the late NBA legend, thanked everyone for their thoughts and prayers.
“Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them,” the beginning of her post read in part. “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.”
While she said it has been hard to cope, she has found some comfort.
“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.”
She said to honor the Team Maba Family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. Donations can be made online.
She ended the post by saying, “Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me.”
Kobe is survived by Vanessa, 37, and their children Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months.
Kobe, 41, and Gianna, 13 were just two of the nine killed after the Sikorsky S-76 crashed.
Among the deceased are the pilot, Ara Zobayan, John Altobelli, his wife Keri, their daughter Alyssa, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester and her daughter, Payton.
The Los Angeles Lakers team broke its silence Wednesday night as well.
In a tweetstorm, the team released the following statement:
“We are devastated and have been forever changed by the sudden loss of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. We send our love to Vanessa, the Bryant family, and to the families of the other passengers.
Words cannot express what Kobe means to the Los Angeles Lakers, our fans, and our city. More than a basketball player, he was a beloved father, husband, and teammate. Their love and light will remain in our hearts forever.
The Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to support the families affected by this tragedy. To help, please visit http://MambaOnThree.org. For those who are inspired to continue Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit http://MambaSportsFoundation.org“
Across the world, families are honoring Kobe and Gigi by posting their #GirlDad photos.
To share your own #GirlDad photos via Reportit! in the link below: