Vanessa Bryant paid tribute to late daughter Gianna Bryant on Instagram on Wednesday, February 5. She posted a photo from a school memorial in Gianna's honor and wrote about how much she missed her child in the heartbreaking caption.
"My Gianna. God I miss you. I’ve been so lucky to have woken up to see your gorgeous face and amazing smile for 13 years. Wish it would’ve been until my last breath. Mommy loves you to the moon and back. Infinity plus 1. #2 #Mambacita #GigiBryant," Vanessa captioned the image. She also shared a photo of Gianna's framed basketball jersey. The school announced they would be retiring her number and hanging the jersey in the gym.
"Hurting for you and praying for your strength," one fan wrote in the comments section of Vanessa's post. "A mother’s worst nightmare. God bless you and your family," another person added.
Gianna, her father Kobe Bryant and seven others lost their lives when the helicopter they were traveling in crashed into a hillside and burst into flames in Calabasas, California on Sunday, January 26. Earlier on Wednesday, Vanessa also posted about how much she missed her "best friend" and former husband Kobe. Memorial plans for Kobe and Gianna are currently underway.
Vanessa has slowly returned to social media since the tragedy. In the wake of the devastating news, she made her Instagram profile private before returning to public on Wednesday, January 29 to issue a statement on Kobe and Gianna's deaths.
"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," Vanessa wrote.
She continued, "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."
The National Transportation Safety Board is currently investigating to determine the official cause of the crash.