Kobe Bryant's wife Vanessa breaks her silence following husband & daughter's tragic deaths

vanessa bryant
Vanessa Bryant/Instagram

Vanessa Bryant took to Instagram to share a heartbreaking post following the deaths of her husband, Kobe Bryant, and their daughter Gianna. The basketball star and his 13-year-old daughter were in a helicopter crash on Sunday, January 26, that killed them and seven other passengers. Kobe is survived by his wife and their three other daughters--Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. 

More from MamásLatinas: Vanessa & Kobe Bryant: A timeline of their love story

Vanessa remained silent following the news, but on Wednesday, January 29, she made her Instagram public and changed her main image to one of her husband and her baby girl Gigi. She later shared a family photo with a heartfelt message expressing her pain and also thanking fans for their love and support. 

Vanessa shared the most beautiful Christmas family photo.

"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," she shared in the caption. "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."

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Her words were heart-wrenching, yet so dignified and strong.

Seven other people were in the helicopter with the basketball star and his little girl during the accident, and Vanessa made sure to honor them with her post. "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," she continued. "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."

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Vanessa thanked fans for sharing in their pain but asked for privacy.

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Natalia’s fans 🏐❤️🙌🏽#15

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

"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," Vanessa added. "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."

A fund has been created to help the families involved.

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🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡

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

Vanessa revealed that a fund has been set up to help support the other families who lost loved ones in the accident at MambaOnThree.org. She added: "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 ❤️."

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It's been just a few days since the news of Kobe's death shocked the world.

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41 🎉🎂🎉

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

Kobe and Gianna were on their way to her basketball game on Sunday morning when their helicopter crashed into a hillside, likely due to heavy fog conditions. They were joined by John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, and pilot Ara Zobayan. There were no survivors. People all over the world--including basketball fans, celebrities, and their loved ones--expressed their grief following the accident and paid tribute with Instagram posts and memorials all over the country.