Feeling ‘empty and broken,’ Vanessa manages to put a smile on her face thanks to her daughters
Vanessa Bryant, the widow of NBA legend and Lakers great Kobe Bryant, penned a heartfelt message to honor her late husband on his birthday Monday.
Vanessa took to social media her sentiments and stressed how much she missed both Kobe, who was supposed to turn 42 years old, and 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
Kobe and Gianna, along with seven other victims, were killed in a tragic helicopter crash last January. They were en route to a basketball game at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks before the incident happened.
Though Vanessa’s personal Instagram account was set to private, several media outlets took screenshots of her post and went viral as the world honors the “Black Mamba” on his special day.
“To my baby – Happy birthday. I love you and miss you more than I can ever explain. I wish you and Gigi were here to celebrate YOU!” Vanessa wrote.
Vanessa continued by mentioning several things she missed about Kobe – from his sweet kisses, big hugs, “loud ass deep laugh,” and smile.
She also thanked Kobe, who led the Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA titles, for growing up together and teaching her to be strong.
“I think about your tenderness and patience all the time. I think about everything you would do in situations to help me deal with everything thrown my way.”
The message turned to the melancholic part when Vanessa opened up her personal struggles and admitted feeling “so empty” and “completely broken inside” without Kobe and Gianna.
Thanks to their “strong and resilient” daughters – Natalia, Bianka and Capri — Vanessa managed to put a smile on her face each passing day.
“I’m not the strong one, they are,” she said. “I’m sure you’re proud of them.”
But Vanessa wished to wake up from the “horrible nightmare” and instead imagined surprising her daughters and Kobe at home.
“I’m mad I didn’t go first. I always wanted to go first so that I selfishly didn’t have to feel this heartache,” Vanessa continued. “You were supposed to miss me. Gigi was supposed to be here with her sisters. It should’ve been me.”
The 38-year-old Vanessa ended her post by expressing gratitude and appreciation to Kobe as father and husband.
“Thank you for loving me enough to last several lifetimes. In every lifetime I would choose YOU. Thank you for showing me what real love is. Thank YOU for everything,” she said.
“I know my Gigi is celebrating you like she always has on our special days. I miss my thoughtful princess so much! Natalia, Gianna, Bianka, Capri and I wish you a happy birthday my love.
“I love you for now, forever and for always,” Vanessa ended, including the hashtags #amoreterno and #42.
17-year-old Natalia also honored Kobe, her “best movie buddy,” in a separate Instagram post.
“I will always remember our late night drives to the movie theater with the windows rolled down and listening to our favorite songs. I love you forever and always,” Natalia wrote.