by G. Brown
The pain of losing a spouse is heartwrenching. Couple that pain with the loss of a child and the pain is unimaginable. That is the reality facing Vanessa Bryant after losing Kobe and her 13-year-old daughter Gianna to a horrendous helicopter crash over the weekend.
Investigators are sifting through the shredded wreckage looking for clues to pinpoint why the Sikorsky S-76B aircraft plummeted into a rapid descent before crashing into a mountainside. Nine people including Bryant and his daughter were on board the flight en route to a youth basketball game at Kobe’s Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks.
Preliminary reports indicate heavy fog that grounded other aircraft Sunday morning may have been a factor, but NTSB investigators say it will be months before final reports determine the cause of the crash.
Widow Vanessa and her surviving daughters will spend those months trying to adjust to life without Kobe and Gigi. Vanessa interrupted her mourning to reach out on Instagram to thank the millions of people who been there to comfort her family during this traumatic time.
Vanessa wrote, ” My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time.” Vanessa also thanked fans for their prayers saying, “We definitely need them.” She continued saying, “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…” She added, “There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved.”
Vanessa also extended condolences to the families of the other seven passengers to perish in the crash saying, “…we share in their grief intimately”.
Vanessa graciously ended her post asking those who wanted to honor Kobe and Gigi to do so by donating to a fund set up to help the other families affected by the crash. You can go to MambaOnThree.org to donate. Or to further Kobe and Gigi’s legacy in youth sports, Vanessa asks fans to visit MambaSportsFoundation.org.
Some fans have found other ways to honor Kobe. Rapper Fifty cents posted that he realizes that life is
too short to spend exchanging hateful words. Less than a day after Kobe’s death, Fifty made a very public vow online saying, ” “I feel like I have to achieve what I want in life now after this. I have to focus, I’m not arguing with anyone anymore I’ll deal with it another way if there’s a problem.”
There’s no greater honor to pay someone than to allow their life…or death to be meaningful enough to force us to reflect and change.