In her first public statement following the tragic deaths of her husband, Kobe Bryant, and daughter, Gianna, Vanessa Bryant penned an emotional tribute on Instagram late Wednesday.

“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,” she shared. “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.”

She added: “There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now…I wish they were here 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.”



The former Laker and his daughter died in a helicopter crash, along with seven others, on Sunday. The group of basketball players and their parents were on their way to a game in Thousand Oaks when the accident took place. Bryant also shared her condolences for the other families involved in the incident.

“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,” she said.

She also encouraged people to donate to the MambaOnThree Fund, which was created to support the other families affected. Those interested can donate via MambaOnThree.org.