On Friday, Vanessa Bryant remembered her husband Kobe and daughter Gianna, who both passed away four years ago in a helicopter crash. Vanessa, who is 41 years old, posted a picture on Instagram of Kobe smiling with his arm around Gianna, with a caption of “❤️❤️.” The same photo was shared on the Los Angeles Lakers Instagram account with the words “Forever 💜.”
On January 26, 2020, Kobe, Gianna, and seven friends were on a helicopter heading to a basketball tournament. The flight crashed near Thousand Oaks, probably because of a mistake by the pilot, according to a year-long investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. Kobe, Gianna, the pilot Ara Zobayan, and others on board all lost their lives. Kobe was 41, and Gianna was 13.
On the first anniversary of their death, Vanessa shared a note from one of Gianna’s friends, Audrey. In the post, Vanessa expressed love and thanked Audrey for sharing memories of Gianna. Vanessa also shared her pain, saying she couldn’t understand why such a tragedy happened to such good people. She praised Kobe and said Gianna still makes her proud.
Vanessa, who has three other daughters with Kobe, Natalia, Bianka, and Capri, spoke about dealing with her immense pain. She mentioned that staying in bed and crying wouldn’t change what happened, so she chooses to get up and move forward for her girls and herself.
To honor Kobe and Gianna, Vanessa leads the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, a nonprofit that helps underserved young athletes.