Although she felt the anguish of losing both her husband and daughter, she revealed that the thought of her other daughters kept her going through the tough time.
For the world, the shock of losing NBA legend Kobe Bryant may have softened over time, but for his family, the loss of a loving husband and a father is still something they are reeling from.
Nearly a year has passed since the basketball player stepped inside a helicopter that wound up in a devastating crash, killing him, his daughter, and seven other passengers who traveled along with them, according to People. Left mourning the loss of Bryant and his daughter, Gianna "Gigi" Bryant was his wife, Vanessa Bryant, and her three surviving daughters.
The death of Bryant and Gianna forced Vanessa to confront the struggles of grief. And now that a year has passed since the accident, the NBA player's wife is now reaching out to those who might have had to struggle through something like she did.
"Grief is a messed up cluster of emotions. One day you're in the moment laughing and the next day you don't feel like being alive,” wrote Vanessa on Instagram.
Sharing her heartfelt advice to those experiencing grief, Vanessa added, "I want to say this for people struggling with grief and heartbreaking loss. Find your reason to live. I know it’s hard."
As she revealed her own reason to push through, Vanessa said the thought of her daughters is what helped her through the tough period. "I look at my daughters and I try to push through that feeling for them. Death is guaranteed but living the rest of the day isn’t. Find your reason," the bereaved wife and mother went on to say.
What makes it harder for a grieving family are the anniversaries, the holidays, and the birthdays that pass by without them. Just a few weeks ago, Vanessa and her daughters had to spend their first Christmas without Bryant and Gianna.
On Christmas day, Vanessa put up a picture with daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 4, and Capri, 1, along with another picture of them with Bryant and Gianna. She wrote on Instagram, "Always Together, Never Apart Together Forever In Our Hearts."
In another post remembering her beloved husband on his birthday in August, Vanessa wrote a post that showed the anguish she felt over losing her husband of almost two decades as well as her daughter at the young age of 13. She remembered both of them and wished Bryant and Gianna were there to celebrate the legend's birthday.
"As much as I want to cry, I put a smile on my face to make our daughters days shine a little brighter. I’m not the strong one, they are," Vanessa said. "They’re strong and resilient. I’m sure you’re proud of them. They put a smile on my face everyday. I wish I could wake up from this horrible nightmare. I wish I could surprise our girls and welcome you and Gigi home to us."
Wishing she could have traded places with her husband, she wrote, "I’m mad I didn’t go first. I always wanted to go first so that I selfishly didn’t have to feel this heartache. You were supposed to miss me. Gigi was supposed to be here with her sisters. It should’ve been me."
Through those moments of grief, she held on to all the wonderful things that Bryant filled her life with. Expressing her gratitude to her late husband, Vanessa went on to say, "I’m so thankful I have pieces of heaven here on earth to wake up for- thanks to YOU. Thank you for loving me enough to last several lifetimes. In every lifetime I would choose YOU. Thank you for showing me what real love is. Thank YOU for everything. I know my Gigi is celebrating you like she always has on our special days. I miss my thoughtful princess so much! Natalia, Gianna, Bianka, Capri and I wish you a happy birthday my love. I love you for now, forever and for."
Kobe Bryant and Gigi died on January 26, 2020, in a helicopter crash.