Vanessa Bryant says she’s trying to stay strong for her daughters and “finding the light in darkness” after the death of her husband, Kobe, and their second-eldest daughter, Gianna, in a helicopter crash last year.
“I can’t say I’m strong every day. I can’t say there aren’t days when I feel as if I can’t survive to the next,” Vanessa (38) told People magazine. “My girls help me smile through the pain. They give me strength.”
Vanessa’s world was shattered on 26 January last year when a helicopter carrying Kobe (41), Gianna (13) and six family friends crashed into a hillside in Calabasas, California, during heavy fog, killing everyone on board, including the pilot.
Vanessa was left to care for their three other daughters, Natalia (now 18), Bianka (now 4) and Capri (now 20 months).
“I’ll never understand why or how this tragedy could’ve happened to such beautiful, kind and amazing human beings,” she shared in a post on Instagram to mark the one-year anniversary of the tragedy. The widow is now gracing the cover of People’s Women Changing the World issue.
Apart from staying grounded for her family, Vanessa’s resilience has also helped her carry on so she can make her husband and late daughter proud.
She’s thrown herself into work and has taken over special projects at Granity Studios, a multimedia company Kobe launched in 2013, which focuses on TV, film and publishing. Vanessa also shares a passion for helping the youth and empowering young women. She relaunched the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation as a dedication to her lost loved ones.
Natalia has also been a great source of strength for her mom. On top of navigating her final year in high school and applying for university, the teen has helped looked after her younger siblings and even landed a contract with a well-known modelling agency.
“She’s been my right-hand woman as I navigated this year,” her mom says proudly.
Staying present for her three daughters, who Vanessa says are her reason, is her top priority.
“Lying in bed crying isn’t going to change the fact that my family will never be the same again,” she said. “But getting out of bed and pushing forward is going to make the day better for my girls and for me. So that’s what I do.”
SOURCES: PEOPLE.COM; HUFFPOST.COM; ETONLINE.COM; FORBES.COM