Christopher Brito – CBS News
Vanessa Bryant mourned her late husband Kobe and daughter Gianna in a social media post marking the one-year anniversary of their deaths.
“I miss my baby girl and Kob-Kob so much, too,” Bryant wrote on Instagram early Tuesday. “I will never understand why/how this tragedy could’ve happened to such beautiful, kind and amazing human beings. It still doesn’t seem real.”
She also shared a touching letter from Gianna’s best friend, Aubrey, who praised the teen’s “fiery” drive and influence on her.
“There are times I get into despair thinking about her and what she could’ve accomplished had she had a couple more years,” Aubrey wrote. “But recently I have been thinking about the mark she did leave on this earth. Her fights for equality in sports made the world reconsider their opinions…But on a lower level, on behalf of every person who came across her, I can say that she changed our lives.”
She continued to express gratitude and love for her best friend, while offering some words of consolation to Bryant.
“I hope that in the midst of your intense sadness you catch a glimpse of joy in who the daughter you created and raised was,” Aubrey wrote. “You did it right Mrs. Bryant, and we are all eternally grateful to you. I am, so blessed, I got to have time with your angel of a daughter, and thank you for giving me that chance.”
“I love you and am thinking of your as we remember and honor her life,” she added.
Gianna and the NBA icon were killed in a helicopter crash along with seven others on January 26, 2020.
NBA stars have marked the one-year anniversary of Bryant’s death in different ways. Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving wore one of the Bryant’s old Lakers jerseys prior to his game against the Miami Heat on Monday.
Days earlier, Lakers stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis – who dedicated the recent 2020 Lakers championship to Kobe – were also candid about his loss.
“As we approach his one-year anniversary, it saddens our hearts to actually come to the realization that he’s gone,” Davis said. “I know I still have trouble with it, you still just can’t believe it.”
“There’s a lot of things that die in this world, but legends never die, and he’s exactly that,” James said.