Vanessa Bryant credits her three daughters — Natalia, 18, Bianka, 4, and Capri, 1 — with helping her through the deaths of her husband, Kobe Bryant, and daughter, Gianna Bryant, 13. “The pain is unimaginable, but you just have to get up and push forward,” Vanessa admitted in a new interview with People. “Lying in bed crying isn’t going to change the fact that my family will never be the same again, but getting out of bed and pushing forward is going to make the day better for my girls and for me. So that’s what I do.”
She also added that Natalia, Bianka and Capri have helped her “smile through the pain” in the 13 months since Kobe and Gianna were killed in a helicopter crash. At the same time, Vanessa has also found “light in the darkness” with help from Kobe and Gianna. “I guess the best way to describe it is that Kobe and Gigi motivate me to keep going,” she explained. “They inspire me to try harder and be better every day. Their love is unconditional and they motivate me in so many different ways.”
While continuing to deal with her insurmountable grief, Vanessa has not only been strong for her girls — she’s also been keeping up with the passion projects Kobe left behind. Vanessa has continued to run the NBA star’s multi-media company, Granity Studios, and re-launched his Mamba & Mambacita Sports foundation, which helps provide equal opportunities to young athletes. Despite her strong demeanor, though, Vanessa admittedly still struggles on a regular basis.
“I can’t say that I’m strong every day,” she told the mag. “I can’t say there aren’t days when I feel like I can’t survive to the next.” Kobe and Gianna were killed when the helicopter they were traveling in crashed on Jan. 26, 2020. They were on the way to one of Gianna’s basketball games at Kobe’s Mamba Academy when the accident occurred. The six other passengers on-board, as well as the pilot, also died during the horrific crash.