She’s speaking out. Vanessa Bryant released her first statement in the wake of Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant’s tragic deaths on Sunday, January 26, revealing that she’s absolutely grief-stricken to lose her husband and 13-year-old daughter so suddenly. The NBA legend’s wife of nearly 19 years took to Instagram on January 29 to give an update on how she’s coping.

“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,” Vanessa, 37, began.

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“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,” she continued. “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,” the mother of four concluded. “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.”

Vanessa Bryant Speaks Out After Kobe and Gianna's Deaths
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Vanessa’s statement comes shortly after she changed her Instagram profile from private to public, prompting fans to notice that she updated her icon to honor the former MVP and their precious daughter, who also went by the nickname “Gigi.” Bryant and Gianna can be seen hugging in the heart-wrenching shot.

Fans from all over the world are still mourning the unbearable loss of Bryant, his daughter, and the seven other people aboard the helicopter that fateful morning.

It was later confirmed that Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife, Keri Altobelli, and their daughter, Alyssa Altobelli, were among the victims to perish in the crash. Sarah Chester and her daughter, Payton Chester, sadly lost their lives, as well as Mamba Academy basketball coach Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan, according to a report from the L.A. Times.

Kobe Bryant Family Photos
Courtesy of Kobe Bryant/Instagram

Vanessa and her husband experienced many highs and lows throughout the course of their relationship, but they always managed to come out stronger. The Los Angeles Lakers superstar and his wife met for the first time in the late ’90s. By 2001, the pair exchanged their vows in Dana Point, California. As she focuses on moving forward, Vanessa has dedicated herself to raising their children to the best of her abilities to honor his legacy.

After hearing the devastating news about Bryant and Gianna, his longtime friend and fellow NBA star LeBron James released a heartfelt statement of his own, revealing he was traumatized to lose them both in the blink of an eye.

“WTF!! I’m heartbroken and devastated my brother!! 😢😢😢😢💔Man I love you big bro. My heart goes to Vanessa and the kids,” he wrote. “You mean so much to us all here especially #LakerNation💜💛 and it’s my responsibility to put this s–t on my back and keep it going!! Please give me the strength from the heavens above and watch over me! I got US here! There’s so much more I want to say but just can’t right now because I can’t get through it! Until we meet again my brother!!”

We’re keeping all those impacted by this tragedy in our thoughts.

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