On Wednesday, Vanessa, 37, shared an old interview her late husband gave to Extra, in which the basketball star named her as his best friend without hesitation, and that his daughters simply referred to him as “daddy.”
Vanessa captioned the post with a red heart emoji on Instagram, sharing the sentimental moment with her nearly 11 million followers. The official account for Extra commented on the post and said, “Sending you all our love. ❤️”
Earlier in the day, Vanessa also shared a smiling portrait of Kobe on her Instagram page, reiterating that he was her best friend, writing, “#mybestfriend #theBestdaddy Miss you so much. #handsome #sweet #funny #silly #lovinghusband ❤️Miss you saying, ‘Bonjourno principessa/reina.'”
The emotional social media activity from Vanessa comes nearly 10 days after Kobe died at age 41 in a helicopter crash along with one of their four daughters, 13-year-old Gianna. He is also survived by Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months.
A source close to the Bryant family recently told PEOPLE that Vanessa is still “processing” her new situation as a single mom while grieving the loss of her loving husband and daughter.
“The shock hasn’t entirely worn off,” said the source. “She’s very tired; she hasn’t been sleeping. She’s worried about her girls, worried about what happens next.”
But Vanessa has a strong support system, the source added, who is helping her through the difficult days since the incident.
“She’s got people around her who are helping her: physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally,” the insider said. “She has spent the last week surrounded by people who love her and want only the best for her. She’s really being loved and cared for. And so are the girls.”
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“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,” she captioned the post. “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.”
She added: “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.”
A fund has been created for the families of the seven other victims killed in the crash — John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan. Donations are being accepted through the Mamba Sports Foundation called the MambaOnThree Fund.