Vanessa Bryant is opening up about how she copes after losing Kobe Bryant and their 13-year-old daughter Gianna. In an interview with People for this week’s Women Changing the World issue, Bryant says she perseveres for the sake of her other children.
“I can’t say that I’m strong every day,” she said. “I can’t say that there aren’t days when I feel like I can’t survive to the next.”
Kobe, Gianna and seven others were tragically killed last January in a helicopter crash while traveling to a basketball game at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California. Last month, the National Transportation Safety Board announced the deadly collision was caused by the pilot’s inability to see through the thick fog he encountered during the trip.
Since their passing, Bryant has taken over all of her husband’s unfinished projects at Granity Studios, in addition to taking care of their other three daughters — 18-year-old Natalia, 4-year-old Bianka and 20-month-old Capri.
“This pain is unimaginable [but] you just have to get up and push forward,” Bryant said. “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.”
She says she focused on “finding the light in darkness” and garners inspiration from her late husband and daughter. “I guess the best way to describe it is that Kobe and Gigi motivate me to keep going,” Bryant continued. “They inspire me to try harder and be better every day. Their love is unconditional and they motivate me in so many different ways.”
Bryant credits her girls with helping her persevere through the heartbreaking grief. “My girls help me smile through the pain,” she said. “They give me strength.”
“I want to make Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka and Capri proud,” she concluded.