The event, titled “The Celebration of Life for Kobe and Gianna,” took place at the Staples Center —the same spot where the NBA start player played for the Los Angeles Lakers for his 20-season long basketball career. Vanessa Bryant paid tribute to her late husband and 13-year-old daughter, who were killed on January 26 in Calabasas along with seven others after a tragic helicopter crash.
“The outpouring of love and support that my family has felt from around the world has been so uplifting,” she started. “Thank you so much for all your prayers. I’d like to talk about both Kobe and Gigi, but I’ll start with my baby girl first. Gianna Bryant is an amazingly sweet and gentle soul,” Vanessa shared.
Watch part of Vanessa Bryant’s speech below.
“She was always thoughtful, she always kissed me good night and kissed me good morning,” the mom shared. “There were a few occasions where I was absolutely tired from being up with Bianca and Capri and I thought she had left for school without saying goodbye. I’d text and say ‘No kiss?’ and Gianna would reply with ‘Mama, I kissed you but you were asleep and I didn’t want to wake you.’ She knew how much her morning and evening kisses meant to me, and she was so thoughtful to remember to kiss me every day. She was daddy’s girl, but I know she loved her mama and she would always tell me and show me how much she loved me.”
“I cannot imagine life without her,” she added. “Gigi was sunshine. She brightened up my day every day.”
“We will not be able to see Gianna go to highschool with Natalia… we didn’t get the chance to teach her how to drive a car,” Vanessa went on. “I won’t be able to tell her how gorgeous she looks on her wedding day. I’ll never get to see my baby girl walk down the aisle, have a father-daughter dance with her daddy…or have babies of her own.”
She then shared her feelings on her husband, Kobe.
“He was the most amazing husband. Kobe loved me more than I could ever express or put into words. He was the early bird, and I was the night owl. I was fire and he was ice, and vice versa at times. We balanced each other out. He would do anything for me,” Vanessa said. “He isn’t going to be able to walk our girls down the aisle or spin me around on the dance floor but I want my girls to know the amazing man, husband, and father he was.”
“They were funny, happy, silly and they loved life,” she said, continuing “God knew they couldn’t be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to heaven together. Babe, you take care of our Gigi.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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