Vanessa Bryant: 'My brain refuses to accept that both Kobe and Gigi are gone'

By Heather Cichowski

Vanessa Bryant is still trying to process the horrific deaths of her husband Kobe Bryant and 13-year-old daughter Gianna "Gigi" Bryant.

The two lost their lives in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif. along with seven other people on Jan. 26. This week, Vanessa shared an honest and emotional Instagram post about trying to come to terms with the passing of her loved ones.

The mom took to social media to upload a video of Gigi playing basketball. It showed the teenager's talent on the court, and also featured some tender moments between Gigi and Kobe, such as the former Los Angeles Lakers player kissing her on the head at a game.

The Bryant family at a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors at the Staples Center on Dec. 18, 2017 in Los Angeles. Photo: © Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

"I've been reluctant to put my feelings into words," she began. "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. 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 opened up about her conflicting emotions on the situation and her difficulty grappling with it.

"I’m so mad," the mom revealed. "She had so much life to live.

"Then I realize I need to be strong and be here for my 3 daughters. Mad I'm not with Kobe and Gigi but thankful I'm here with Natalia, Bianka and Capri."

The nine people who lost their lives in the January helicopter crash were remembered at the Super Bowl on Feb. 2. Photo: © Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Vanessa acknowledged that what she's going through is normal and part of coming to terms with the passing of those near and dear to us. She said she wanted to share her feelings to help others.

MORE: Vanessa Bryant pays emotional tribute to late husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna

"I know what I'm feeling is normal," she continued. "It's part of the grieving process. I just wanted to share in case there's anyone out there that's experienced a loss like this.

"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."

Vanessa first broke her silence on Instagram on Jan. 29, when she thanked fans for their support and condolences on behalf of herself and daughters, 17-year-old Natalia, three-year-old Bianka and seven-month-old Capri.

Vanessa and Kobe Bryant with daughters Gianna and Natalia at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival. Photo: © Taylor Hill/Getty Images

"My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who've shown support and love during this horrific time," she started. "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 was also candid about her range of emotions in the post and coming to terms with the crash.

"I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them," she wrote. "Have them here with us, forever."

MORE: In Memoriam: Celebrities who died in 2020

Vanessa ended the tribute by thanking supporters and encouraged them to "honour the Team Mamba family" by furthering Kobe and Gianna's legacy in sports by supporting the Mamba Sports Foundation or by going to Mamba On Three, which supports other families affected by the tragedy.

Don't miss a beat with HELLO! Canada's Daily Hits newsletter, your daily dose of royal and celebrity news, fashion, weddings and more. CLICK HERE to sign up for free!