Kobe Bryant's widow wishes 'nightmare' would end

LOS ANGELES • Vanessa Bryant said in an Instagram post on Monday that she was both grieving and angry over the loss of former National Basketball Association (NBA) star Kobe Bryant, and 13-year-old Gianna in a helicopter crash last month.

Vanessa Bryant, 37, has made few public appearances since the crash that killed her husband, daughter and seven others and said that she had been "reluctant" to put her feelings into words.

"My brain refuses to accept that both Kobe and Gigi are gone," she said, using a nickname for her daughter.

"I can't process both at the same time. It's like I'm trying to process Kobe being gone but my body refuses to accept my Gigi will never come back to me."

She said she felt anger at losing both her husband and daughter and has to remind herself to be strong for the couple's three surviving daughters.

"God I wish they were here and this nightmare would be over," she said. "Praying for all of the victims of this horrible tragedy. Please continue to pray for all."

The death of Bryant, 41, an 18-time NBA All-Star and one of the world's most admired sports figures, prompted an outpouring of shock and grief from fans and fellow athletes around the globe.

The retired Los Angeles Lakers guard had been on his way to a youth basketball tournament in which Gianna and two other girls aboard the luxury chopper were due to compete.

Federal investigators have not yet determined a cause for the crash in Calabasas, California but said the helicopter was flying in dense fog and there was no evidence of engine failure.

In his last interview with the Los Angeles Times, Bryant spoke about being a family man.

When asked why he did not attend many Lakers home games following his retirement, he said in October: "I have gone through 20 years of the majority of my career with my kids Natalia and Gianna without being able to have that consistently.

"So for me to make a trip up to the Staples Centre, that means I'm missing the opportunity to spend another night with my kids...

"Natalia is 16 and Gianna is 13... so I want to make sure that the days I'm away from them, are days that I absolutely have to.

"I'd rather just be hanging with them."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 12, 2020, with the headline 'Bryant's widow wishes 'nightmare' would end'. Print Edition | Subscribe