FILE – Kobe Bryant poses with his family at halftime after his two # 8 and # 24 jerseys of the Los Angeles Lakers in Retired Staples Center on December 18, 2017 in Los Angeles, California Maxx Wolfson / Getty Images / AFP
Vanessa Bryant spoke publicly on Wednesday for the first time since the fall of her husband Kobe Bryant, one of her daughters and seven others, and thanked Instagram for the worldwide support since the tragedy.
It also announced the creation of a fund to support the other families affected by the crash.
“Thank you for all prayers. We definitely need it, ”wrote Vanessa Bryant. “We are devastated by the sudden loss of my dear husband Kobe – the amazing father of our children. and my beautiful, sweet Gianna – a loving, thoughtful and wonderful daughter and wonderful sister of Natalia, Bianka and Capri. We are also devastated for the families who lost relatives on Sunday, and we share their grief very closely. "
The Bryants celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary this April. They had four daughters, including 13-year-old Gianna, who was killed in the accident.
Vanessa Bryant comments after the tragic death of her husband Kobe Bryant and her daughter Gianna. pic.twitter.com/EKZXBMvnmq
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"There are currently not enough words to describe our pain," wrote Vanessa Bryant. "I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew they were loved so deeply. We were so incredibly blessed to have her in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings that were taken from us too early. "
It was the Bryant family's first statement since the crash. The Los Angeles Lakers – the team with which Bryant won five championships for 20 years – also had media availability on Wednesday. It was the first team since Bryant's death.
The Lakers were scheduled to play the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday, a game that the NBA had postponed out of consideration for Bryant, the other victims, and the mourning process. The Lakers will play Portland at home next Friday.
"I am not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it is impossible to imagine life without them," wrote Vanessa Bryant. "But we wake up every day and keep pushing because Kobe and our little girl Gigi shine on us to show us the way. Our love for them is infinite – and that means immeasurable. I just wish I could hug, kiss and bless her. Have her with us forever. "
Kobe and Gianna Bryant have no plans for burials or memorials. Vanessa Bryant asked to continue to respect her family's privacy when they started "navigating through this new reality".
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