Kobe Bryant’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, has broken her silence after the untimely death of her husband of nearly 20 years and their 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, in a helicopter crash on Sunday.
Before posting a lengthy statement on Instagram, the 37-year-old mother of four had changed her profile picture to a picture of Kobe and Gianna that was taken in 2016 at the NBA All-Star Game in Toronto.
In the photo, the young girl was trying to embrace her dad. Vanessa’s Instagram page was kept private until the updates were made on Wednesday.
People on social media were eager to show a lot of love to Kobe’s widow. She started the day with 1.5 million followers on Instagram, and less than 24 hours later, that number has surpassed over 6 million supporters.
In the caption that accompanied a loving family photo, Vanessa wrote: “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.”
She continued with: “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 has also used her statement to raise money for the other families affected by this tragedy. Seven other people were killed in the crash.
Fans around the globe were deeply touched by what happened, and through the comment section, their support for the Bryant family can be felt.
One commenter replied: “🙏🙏🙏 My heart goes out to you and your girls…so very very sorry for your loss…may God heal your family’s heart of this pain and see’s you through this with guiding lights from above…your angles are resting in heaven looking over us all…God help us all through this time of weakness and provide us with the strength we need to get through this❤️ in Jesus name we pray for you Amen🙏🙏🙏.”
A second follower added: “Oh Vanessa, as a mother, I just want to hug you so tight. You will be strong for your girls because, as mothers, there’s no other option. I don’t even know you, but I’m literally thinking of you all the time. I wish there were something I could do to help you ease the pain. Take comfort in knowing that moms like me are embracing you from afar. Xoxo”
The Los Angeles Lakers legend died at the age of 41 and left behind his wife and three daughters — 17-year-old Natalia, Bianka, 3, and a 7-month-old baby named Capri.