Remke's husband Matthew died of cancer two years ago at age 41, the same age as Kobe Bryant.
Remke, a freelance writer, became a single mom to four kids, a son the same age as Gianna as well as 10-year-old twins and a 7-year-old daughter.
It was Remke's youngest daughter, Payton, who urged her to write a letter to Vanessa Bryant to let her know she and her daughters would be okay.
"She was like, 'Mom, you have to tell her. You have to tell her she’ll be okay,'" Remke told "Good Morning America." "It was a little bit of her naive innocence thinking that all widows know each other, but she sees there are days when we’ll laugh and are happy but that doesn’t mean that we’re over grief."
"Back when it happened you just felt like life was over and you didn’t want to go on, but now there are good days and bad days," she said. "I tell my kids that it doesn’t mean we’re forgetting daddy but just we're just keeping on and trying to live well and love."
Remke has used writing as a form of therapy for herself in the years since her husband's death, so she took to writing again to find a way to support Vanessa Bryant, a woman she has never met who lives across the country and is in the first stages of her grief.
"The initial sting fades a little bit but I remember it very well, as just a sadness and a heaviness where you can’t catch your breath," Remke said of the first days after her husband's death. "But I’m staring at four kids who still need a mom and still need to go to school and go to their practices and have their lunch packed and so you just go on."
Remke wrote a letter to Bryant Monday, the day after the helicopter crash. She shared the letter on Facebook, where it was quickly shared.
Remke said she hopes the attention not only helps other widows but can also help people know how they can support people who have lost a loved one.
"Just say I’m sorry, that’s the only thing you can say," she said. "And tell them, 'However I can be here for you. I’m here.'"
Here is Remke's full letter to Vanessa Bryant, reprinted with her permission.
To Kobe's widow
I've thought about you all day.
While I can't begin to fathom the loss of a child, I can sympathize with you a little regarding the loss of your spouse. My late husband was also 41 when he died. I know that this, the day after his death, was probably almost as excruciating as yesterday. Because you had to wake up again to the fact that life as you knew it is over.
I remember the feeling of waking up that next day after—I had probably only slept an hour or so—hoping and praying it was all just a nightmare. But like me, you probably opened your eyes to a reality that told you it wasn't. He was still gone. No amount of money, prestige, or power could change that. And here, as people around the world mourn your husband and what the loss means to them, you only know the hurt and heartbreak of what it means to you and your little ones. You and you alone knew the intimacy of who and what he meant to you and your children.
People will tell you their thoughts. They will offer advice, they'll try to comfort you with things like "well at least xxx" or "it's a blessing that xxx" but you'll be numb and deaf to every word. You'll wonder how you will ever go on. You'll cry yourself to sleep wondering if anything will ever be ok again. I hope you'll find a way though to keep getting up, to keep picking yourself up every day. I hope you will keep living and loving even when it feels like there is no point.
My daughters told me about the kids at school today who were talking about the basketball player who died. They didn't want to believe that his little girl, the same age as their own brother, died too. I told them we were going to send special prayers for Kobe's family, and his widow especially. My daughter said, "Mom, are you friends with his wife on Facebook? Can you tell her she'll be alright?"
I suppose in her eyes, all widows are supposed to know each other and although I don't know you and never will, I just wanted to tell you that you are going to be ok. I know it doesn't seem possible ever again, especially on this, the brutal day after. I can only tell you I'm so sorry. And you will be ok.