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Vanessa Bryant issues tear-jerking first statement since tragic deaths of Kobe, Gigi and 7 others

Vanessa Bryant issues tear-jerking first statement after tragic deaths of Gigi, Kobe and 7 others Sunday. (Image from Vanessa Bryant's Instagram)
Vanessa Bryant issues tear-jerking first statement after tragic deaths of Gigi, Kobe and 7 others Sunday. (Image from Vanessa Bryant's Instagram) (Image from Vanessa Bryant's Instagram)

Vanessa Bryant was Kobe and daughter Gianna's No. 1 supporter.

Following the tragic deaths of her husband and 13-year-old daughter, the wife of the late NBA star made her Instagram public, letting fans get a look inside her loving family. Vanessa's whole world revolves around her beautiful daughters, including the late Gigi, who was already a basketball superstar in her own way.

Wednesday evening, she posted a family photo with a statement — her first public statement since the tragic crash on Sunday.

“My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. 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.We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately.There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. 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.I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. 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.Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality.To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org.To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org.Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me. #Mamba #Mambacita #GirlsDad #DaddysGirls #Family,” she wrote.

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My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. 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. We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately. There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. 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. I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. 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. Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality. To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org. To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org. Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me. #Mamba #Mambacita #GirlsDad #DaddysGirls #Family ❤️

A post shared by Vanessa Bryant 🦋 (@vanessabryant) on

Nicknaming her "wings" and "mambacita," a play on Kobe's famous moniker "Black Mamba," Vanessa cheered on Gigi and her dreams of making it to the WNBA. As for her and Kobe's relationship, the two had been together since she was 18, and had been married for almost 19 years.

Here's a look at Vanessa's sweetest Instagram posts with Kobe and Gigi.

Family Trips and Holidays

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There’s no place like home ❤️

A post shared by Vanessa Bryant 🦋 (@vanessabryant) on

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❤️my girls.

A post shared by Vanessa Bryant 🦋 (@vanessabryant) on

1-1: Kobe and Vanessa

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❤️❌⭕️ Thx for the 📸 @ravieb

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😍😃❤️#PopUpDisney

A post shared by Vanessa Bryant 🦋 (@vanessabryant) on

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❤️Happy 50th birthday, Puffy! @diddy

A post shared by Vanessa Bryant 🦋 (@vanessabryant) on

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L Boogie! 🎉#hollywoodbowl

A post shared by Vanessa Bryant 🦋 (@vanessabryant) on

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❤️ photo cred: Gigi B.

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Gigi's Biggest Fan

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Wingspan #wings #mambacita 🏀✈️

A post shared by Vanessa Bryant 🦋 (@vanessabryant) on

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#mambacita 👋🏽👋🏽🏀✈️

A post shared by Vanessa Bryant 🦋 (@vanessabryant) on

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❤️❤️

A post shared by Vanessa Bryant 🦋 (@vanessabryant) on

Kobe and Gigi, along with seven other people, died in a helicopter car crash in Calabasas, California, on Sunday. A source who is friends with the Bryant family told ET on Wednesday, "Vanessa is completely shocked and heartbroken but is trying to stay as strong as she can in front of her children."

"Vanessa has been with Kobe since she was 18 and never expected to live her life without him, and that is going to take time," the source said. "She has been surrounded by her family and friends but she feels almost numb to everything. She is thankful for the outpouring of love she and her family have received and will respond when she’s ready. Right now she’s taking time to be with her girls."

For more on Kobe's legacy, watch below.

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