Vanessa, grieving wife of basketball legend Kobe Bryant, finally broke her silence on Wednesday as she replaced her profile picture on Instagram with an emotional one that brings memories of her husband and daughter, Gianna.
Both Kobe and Gianna died in the helicopter crash on Sunday morning.
TMZ reported that the photo was taken at the 2016 NBA All-Star Game in Toronto.
In the picture, Kobe is embracing his daughter. She has her arm on his shoulder and he is looking down at her lovingly.
Vanessa has not yet spoken publicly about the loss of Kobe and Gigi. Some reports said she has been crying all the time, unable to compose herself.
The devastating helicopter crash occurred Sunday morning in Calabasas, California, claiming the lives of nine people. The victims have been identified as Kobe Bryant, Gigi Bryant, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, Christina Mauser and the pilot, Ara Zobayan.
Bryant met Vanessa back in 1999 when she was 17 and was working as a background model on a music video.
They got engaged six months later and married in 2001.
The couple have four children together: Gianna, 13, who was killed alongside her father, Natalia, 17, three-year-old Bianka and seven-month-old Capri.
On Thursday, Vanessa finally spoke via an Instagram post, describing the past few days since Sunday, ‘horrific’.
“My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri.
“We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately.
“There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. 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.
“But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever.
“Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality.
“To honour our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org.
“To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org.
“Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me. #Mamba #Mambacita #GirlsDad #DaddysGirls #Family ❤️