Fans are rallying their support around Kobe Bryant's wife, Vanessa Bryant, after she broke her social media silence for the first time since she attended the Celebration of Life public memorial service for her husband and their 13-year-old daughter Gianna. Taking to Instagram on Thursday, just three days after the Staples Center service, where she gave an emotional speech, Vanessa shared a screen shot of Sharia Washington’s emotional tattoo tribute to her brother.
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"(My sister-in-law got this cool tattoo to honor [Gigi Bryant] and [Kobe])," Vanessa captioned the image, which showed Washington's fresh ink – a black mamba snake winding around the numbers 24 and 2 (Bryant and Gianna’s jersey numbers) in the shape of an infinity symbol.
"2~24 forever," Vanessa added. "Love you [Sharia Washington]."
The post immediately drew an emotional response from fans, who immediately filled the comments section.
"What a beautiful tribute," wrote one fan. "They're looking down happy as ever seeing all of this."
"mamaba and mambacita forever," commented somebody else, referring to Bryant and Gianna by their nicknames on the basketball court.
"This is pretty," praised a third person. "love you Vanessa I wish you the best in life and dont give up he will be looking at you and Gigi you thank you for being the best mother she had."
"No support like family support," wrote somebody else. "So glad you have that. #2 #23 foerver! We all love you and will continue to pray for you."
"Thoughts and prayers to you and your family," added another.
"This whole incident has really affected me and my relationship with God," admitted another. "I just can’t believe that their gone it doesn’t make sense the words 'Kobe Bryant is dead' doesn’t go together like at all. Ugh praying for you Vanessa and your daughter. May God bless you all."
"It's pretty cool how the mamba kinda makes an 8 (aside from it being the infinity sign),"commented one person, referencing Bryant's number 8 jersey, one of the two numbers he played during his time with the Los Angeles Lakers.
"[Vanessa Bryant] your strength is incredible but we all saw your pain and hurt," commented somebody else of Bryant’s speech at the memorial service. "It won't always be easy but he will give you encouragement and strengthen you to press on for your family. I will always have you in my prayers. Sending you virtual hugs."
"Stay strong beautiful lady, we all love and support you always," encouraged another.
"Here I am crying for your family for the last 20 min and then this beauty pops up," wrote another of Bryant's fans. "I carry your family with me in my heart and mind daily."
"Forever & ever," wrote another. "We ALL love you Mrs. Bryant! I think of you, Natalia, Bianka, Capri, Kobe & Gigi multiple times everyday."
"My heart is so heavy," expressed one fan. "May Gigi and Kobe be resting in paradise."
"What a beautiful tribute," added another. "They're looking down happy as ever seeing all of this."
"This is the best one I've seen," added another fan, referencing the numerous tattoo tributes to Bryant that had appeared in the weeks since his death. "Beautiful."
"Yesssss," commented another of Vanessa’s followers. "We can't replace them but we are all here to help carry you through sis!"
"We love you Vanessa," added somebody else. "Everyone loves you and your family. Was just thinking about you and saw this post a few min later. I don't know you. I don't know your family. But it feels like you are our family. Even if people tell you to stay strong it’s okay if you’re not."
"Now that's beautiful," praised somebody else.
"long live the legacy of 2/24 [Kobe and Gigi]," added another.
"You are an amazing woman," commented one person. "Your strength lifts me up when I'm looking for inspiration in life. It must be so tough for you. Keep going. You are wonderful and so are your girls."
"Kobe/Gigi are in our hearts forever," wrote somebody else.
"All of the tributes to Kobe and Gigi are so moving," added another fan. "Kobe was clearly an amazing man who had so much to offer. Makes me wish i knew him because we could all use his wisdom."