Vanessa Bryant has posted a heartbreaking message about losing husband Kobe Bryant and their daughter Gigi, saying: “God I wish they were here.”
The basketball legend was killed along with eight other people, including 13-year-old Gianna (Gigi), when the helicopter he was travelling in crashed in Calabasas, California, north of Los Angeles, last month.
Mrs Bryant, 37, has posted pictures of her family but made few public appearances since the tragedy and explained her reticence in an Instagram post on Monday night, saying she had been “reluctant to put my feelings into words”.
She wrote: “My brain refuses to accept that both Kobe and Gigi are gone. I can’t process both at the same time.
“It’s like I’m trying to process Kobe being gone but my body refuses to accept my Gigi will never come back to me.”
Like many parents dealing with the loss of a child, she feels a sense of injustice.
She wrote: “It feels wrong. Why should I be able to wake up another day when my baby girl isn’t being able to have that opportunity?!”
Vanessa, who married Kobe, one of basketball’s greatest-ever players, in 2001, has three other daughters and said she understood the need to be strong to help them cope with grief.
“I’m so mad. She had so much life to live. Then I realise I need to be strong and be here for my three daughters,” she said.
“Mad I’m not with Kobe and Gigi but thankful I’m here with Natalia, Bianka and Capri. I know what I’m feeling is normal. It’s part of the grieving process.”
Acknowledging grief is apart of everyday life, she added: “I just wanted to share in case there’s anyone out there that’s experienced a loss like this.”
Her message finished with an emotional tribute: “God I wish they were here and this nightmare would be over. Praying for all of the victims of this horrible tragedy. Please continue to pray for all.”
Last week, she announced a “celebration of life” will be held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles later this month to honour her late husband and Gianna.
Kobe Bryant, a five-time NBA title winner and 18-time All-Star, is also set to be honoured at the upcoming NBA All-Star Game this weekend in Chicago, with a number of initiatives planned.