A Year After Their Sudden Death, Vanessa Bryant Remembers Kobe & Gianna Bryant

Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images.
On January 26, 2020, Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna were killed in a helicopter crash along with seven other people in the hills of Calabasas. The tragedy rocked the world, and a year later, the loss is still difficult to reconcile with. Today, on the anniversary of the fatal crash, Kobe’s widow Vanessa is sharing treasured memories of her family.
Widowed and left to take care of her remaining daughters Natalia, Bianka, and Capri, Vanessa was open about her grief and talked often about the weight of the loss. In the year since her husband and daughter's passing, Vanessa has been sharing personal stories of them and paying tribute as often as possible; she's gotten new tattoos in honor of her family and has celebrated their accomplishments with the rest of the world.
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On January 26, Vanessa is remembering her husband and daughter fondly. She took to Instagram to share a personal letter from Gianna’s best friend Aubrey with her 14 million followers, reminding the world that her daughter was a force to be reckoned with even at 14 years old. The emotional letter revealed that Gianna always pushed her friends to be “better versions of themselves,” recalling moments when the young athlete encouraged her teammates and fired up their competitive spirits. It also pointed out that the strides that Gianna had made for gender equality in sports (with support from her dad) would never be forgotten.
"Today I received this sweet letter from one of Gianna's best friends, Aubrey," Vanessa captioned the letter in a new Instagram post. "I love you Aubz (as my Gigi would call you). Thank you so much for beautifully sharing some of your memories of my Gigi with me and allowing me to share them here on my ig."
"My Gigi is INCREDIBLE and I truly appreciate your thoughtful letter,” she continued. “She loves you so much. I miss my baby girl and Kob-Kob so much, too. I will never understand why/how this tragedy could've happened to such beautiful, kind and amazing human beings. It still doesn't seem real. Kob, we did it right. Gigi, you still make mommy proud. I love you!"

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