Vanessa Bryant's Emotional Instagram Post Gives a First-Hand Look at How Complicated Grief Can Be
"My brain refuses to accept that both Kobe and Gigi are gone."
After losing both her husband, NBA star Kobe Bryant, 41, and daughter Gianna (Gigi), 13, in a tragic helicopter crash that also took the lives of seven other passengers, Vanessa Bryant is opening up about the debilitating and complicated grief she's been experiencing.
“I’ve been reluctant to put my feelings into words,” she started a tear-jerking Instagram post on Monday, featuring a video montage of her late daughter and husband. “My brain refuses to accept that both Kobe and Gigi are gone.”
She continued to explain how losing two of her loved ones at the same time has further complicated her grieving process. “I can’t process both at the same time,” she explained. “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?! I’m so mad. She had so much life to live.”
She revealed that her motherhood duties to her surviving children, Natalia, Bianka, and Capri, are what's keeping her going. “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.”
Vanessa also made the important point that grief is a totally normal part of loss, and that she is opening up about her emotional state in hopes of helping others. “I know what I’m feeling is normal. It’s part of the grieving process,” she said. “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.”
Within an hour of posting, Vanessa's caption and montage received more than one million likes and tens of thousands of comments, all of which were praising Vanessa for her strength and truth, and letting her know she's in everyone's prayers.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the city of Los Angeles will hold a memorial service at Staples Center on Monday, February 24th for Bryant and Gianna. The service will be held in between two Lakers home games, on against the Boston Celtics and the other against the New Orleans Pelicans. The date, 2/24, also represents the jersey numbers that Gigi (2) and Kobe (24) wore.
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