Vanessa Bryant paid loving tribute to her late daughter, Gianna ‘Gigi’ Bryant, on what would have been her eighth grade graduation. The widow of the late Kobe Bryant, 38, took to her Instagram account on June 5, where she shared a gorgeous photo of Gianna’s full name — Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant — written in beautiful typography with a lei of cream-colored flowers acting as a frame. More emotional than the image were the words Vanessa wrote in her caption.
“Congratulations on your 8th grade graduation Gigi,” Vanessa began the caption to her post. “I love you forever and always. I’m so proud of you.” Vanessa added a red heart emoji to her caption, and the hashtag “class of 2020” before signing off with “Mommy.”
June marks nearly six months since Vanessa lost her beloved husband, Kobe, and darling 13-year-old Gianna following a devastating helicopter crash that claimed the lives of Kobe, Gianni, and seven others onboard, including John Altobelli, the head baseball coach at Orange Coast College, his wife Keri and their daughter Alyssa, Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton Chester, Christina Mauser, and the pilot, Ara Zobayan.
Since their tragic deaths, Vanessa has already braved through a number of milestones that she will no longer be able to share with her husband and daughter. The mother of four — including daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 11 months — commemorated what would have been Gianna’s 14th birthday on May 1. She took to Instagram on her daughter’s special day, sharing a photo of Gianna smiling from ear to ear, and writing the caption, “Happy 14th Birthday to my sweet baby girl, Gianna. Mommy loves you more than I can ever show you. You are part of MY SOUL forever. I miss you so much everyday. I wish I could wake up and have you here with me. I miss your smile, your hugs and your giggles. I miss EVERYTHING about YOU, Gigi. I LOVE YOU so much!!!!!!!”
Vanessa also paid tribute to Kobe on what would have been their milestone 19th wedding anniversary. Vanessa once again took to Instagram on April 18, where she shared with her followers a touching throwback image of herself with her beloved husband, who kissed her on the cheek as she beamed at the camera. “My king, my heart, my best friend. Happy 19th wedding anniversary baby. I miss you so much. I wish you were here to hold me in your arms. I love you,” she captioned the endearing photo.