Basketball

Vanessa Bryant: 'There aren't enough words to describe our pain right now'

Vanessa Bryant is still trying to come to grips with the death of her husband and daughter Gianna

Vanessa Bryant has spoken out for the first time since her husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna were killed in a horrific helicopter crash, saying the family are "completely devastated" by the tragedy.

Vanessa, who married Kobe in 2001 when she was still a teenager, took to Instagram to communicate her grief, but said she was at a loss for words.

"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," she wrote on her account yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Her comments came three days after Bryant and their 13-year-old daughter died when the Sikorsky S-76 they were riding in slammed into a rugged hillside in thick fog in Calabasas, north-west of Los Angeles. The crash also killed seven others.

The helicopter was headed to Bryant's Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, where Gianna was scheduled to play in a basketball tournament.

"There aren't enough words to describe our pain right now," said Vanessa, who also changed her Instagram picture to one of Kobe and Gianna embracing.

"I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved.

BEAUTIFUL BLESSINGS

"We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon."

In the wake of the tragedy, Vanessa said they are still trying to come to grips with the fact that they are gone.

"I'm not sure what our lives hold beyond today and it's impossible to imagine life without them," she added.

"But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way.

"Our love for them is endless - and that's to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever."

Vanessa and Kobe met on the set of a video shoot for which she was modelling. She was 17 and a senior in high school at the time.

They were engaged in 2001 before getting married six months later. They had four daughters together. The oldest Natalia is 17, while Bianka is three years old and Capri just seven months. - AFP

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