In mourning. Vanessa Bryant received a standing ovation while walking into the emotional memorial service at the Staples Center for her late husband, Kobe Bryant, and their daughter Gianna on Monday, February 24. A source tells In Touch, “The audience stood up and clapped as she walked in and sat down in the front row.”

Later in the ceremony, Vanessa bravely took the stage to speak. “I loved the way she looked up at me while hugging me. It was as if she was soaking me all in,” the 37-year-old gushed of her daughter. “I miss looking at her beautiful face.”

She added of Kobe, “He was the most amazing husband. Kobe loved me more than I could ever express or put into words. I have no idea how I deserved a man who loved or wanted me more than Kobe.”

Vanessa Bryant Memorial Speech

Kobe, 41, and Gianna, 13, tragically died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on January 26. They were among the nine people to lose their lives in the terrible accident. In the wake of their passing, Vanessa is leaning on her mother for support. “Her mom is always with her and the girls and she’s been keeping Vanessa strong and she’s the weight of her support system,” a source told Us Weekly. Since the incident, the widow has been in “denial” but understands “life must go on for her family,” the insider noted.

“Vanessa takes solace in the support of her mom and her sister [Sophie Laine], who are committed to seeing her through this. But at the end of the day, there aren’t words to describe her feelings,” the source said, adding it “will take a very long time for life to normalize” for the mom of four.

Vanessa Bryant Gives Speech at Kobe Bryant and Gianna Memorial

Following the horrific accident, Vanessa broke her silence on Instagram with a heartfelt tribute to her husband and 13-year-old daughter. “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 a family photo on January 29. “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.”

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