Kobe Bryant's widow, Vanessa Bryant, has opened up about her grief in the wake of her family's unimaginable loss.
In an Instagram post Monday, Vanessa Bryant wrote that she's been "reluctant to put my feelings into words" but wanted to share her experiences in case anybody in a similar situation could relate.
Kobe and Gianna Bryant were among the nine people killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Jan. 26.
Kobe Bryant was 41 years old; Gianna, whom loved ones called "Gigi," was 13.
"My brain refuses to accept that both Kobe and Gigi are gone. I can’t process both at the same time," Vanessa Bryant wrote. "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. It feels wrong. Why should I be able to wake up another day when my baby girl isn’t being able to have that opportunity?! I’m so mad. She had so much life to live."
Vanessa Bryant, 37, married the NBA star in 2001, when she was 18 years old and he was 22. Together they had four daughters: Natalia, 17, Gigi, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months. Gigi, by all accounts, was following in her father's footsteps, and had aspirations to play basketball professionally.
In the days after the crash, Vanessa Bryant thanked the public for their outpouring of support, and wrote that she's taken comfort in "knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved."
Still, the dichotomy of raising three children while in mourning has been difficult, she added.
"I realize I need to be strong and be here for my 3 daughters. Mad I’m not with Kobe and Gigi but thankful I’m here with Natalia, Bianka and Capri," she wrote. "God I wish they were here and this nightmare would be over. Praying for all of the victims of this horrible tragedy. Please continue to pray for all."
A public memorial service for Kobe and Gianna Bryant will be held on the morning of Feb. 24 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The date reflects the basketball jersey numbers worn by Kobe (24) and Gianna (2).