On Sunday, January 27, a helicopter carrying nine passengers, including 41-year-old Bryant and Gianna, crashed over Calabasas, California. In an Instagram post shared on January 29, Vanessa thanked "the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time."
She continued, captioning a family photo with an acknowledgement that the family is "completely devastated" by the loss; the couple, who were married in 2001, had four children together, BuzzFeed News reported. "There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now," Vanessa wrote. "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."
According to Vanessa, the family has attempted to press on. "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. "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 shared that she was thinking of the other families and loved ones affected by the crash. As the Los Angeles Times reported, the crash also took the lives of baseball coach John Altobelli, wife Keri Atobelli and their daughter Alyssa; Sarah and Payton Chester; basketball coach Christina Mauser; and the helicopter's pilot Ara Zobayan. Her note went on to confirm that a memorial fund to help others affected by the crash has been set up; all donated funds will be given to the families. For those that wish to further support "Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports," Vanessa directed followers to MambaSportsFoundation.org.
The note closed with Vanessa requesting that fans and followers respect the family's privacy as they "navigate this new reality."
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Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue