Vanessa Bryant on Coping With the Loss of Kobe and Gigi: “This Pain Is Unimaginable”

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Vanessa Bryant is opening up about how she’s been coping since she lost her husband, Kobe, and their daughter Gianna in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, 2020. The 38-year-old is the latest cover star of People‘s Women Changing the World issue, and in the accompanying interview, she admitted that there are days when she doesn’t feel strong.

“I can’t say that I’m strong every day,” Vanessa said. “I can’t say that there aren’t days when I feel like I can’t survive to the next.” She added: “This pain is unimaginable [but] you just have to get up and push forward. Lying in bed crying isn’t going to change the fact that my family will never be the same again. 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.”

“I want to make Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka and Capri proud.”

Vanessa revealed that she looks to Kobe and Gigi when she needs the inspiration to keep going, while her daughters Natalia, Bianka, and Capri help her “smile through the pain.” “They inspire me to try harder and be better every day,” she said. “Their love is unconditional and they motivate me in so many different ways. . . . I want to make Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka and Capri proud.”

Since Kobe’s and Gigi’s deaths, Vanessa has leaned on her family and friends for support. “It really takes a village,” she told the outlet. “That includes ‘aunties’ and ‘uncles’ that have stepped in to be there for us and get us through holidays, special milestones, and birthdays. . . . They’ve shown their love and support through this horrible year and I don’t know how I could’ve managed without them.”

She added: “The outpouring of love and support is so meaningful to me. I don’t think I’d be as strong without everyone’s prayers and positive vibes sent our way. . . . I really want to hug everyone that has prayed for my family and me. . . . I am so thankful and touched by their love.” Check out Vanessa’s full interview in this week’s issue of People.

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