For the first time since the Calabasas, California helicopter crash that claimed nine lives, Vanessa Bryant on Wednesday paid tribute to her husband Kobe Bryant and their 13-year-old daughter Gianna. In an emotional post shared to her now public Instagram account, Bryant opened up about the weight of her loss, writing that "our love for them is endless."
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Beginning her post by thanking "the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time," Bryant wrote that she and her husband's three remaining daughters – Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months – "are completely devastated by the sudden loss" of Kobe and Gianna as well as the loss of the seven other victims, two of whom were Gianna's Mamba Sports Academy teammates.
"There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now," she continued. "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. I'm not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them."
"Our love for them is endless — and that's to say, immeasurable," Bryant wrote. "I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever."
Asking fans to "grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality," Bryant also announced that the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up a new charity, the MambaOnThree Fund, "to help support the other families affected by this tragedy."
Along with Bryant and Gianna, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, Christina Mauser, and pilot Ara Zobayan also perished in the crash. The group had been on their way to a basketball game at the Mamba Sports Academy, with Gianna, Alyssa, and Payton all teammates.
"To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org. To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org," Bryant wrote.
The fund's website explains that all funds donated will go directly to the families affected by the crash.