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On Monday, February 24, a public memorial service was held at the Staples Center for the late Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna. Thousands of fans poured into the venue including celebrities and athletes to celebrate their lives. The two and seven others died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California nearly a month ago.
Vanessa Bryant, Kobe Bryant’s widow and the mother of Gianna, spoke for the first time since their death.
In a moving tribute, she narrates her “imperfectly perfect” love story with Kobe and how Gianna could have been the greatest player in the WNBA.
The speech moved everyone in the arena and the netizens all over the world in tears. Meanwhile, Vanessa is trying to hold back her own when speaking about the loss of Kobe and Gianna.
Starting with her daughter, Vanessa called Gianna or “Gigi” her “baby girl” and talked about how amazingly sweet she is and how she has a gentle soul.
“We will not be able to see Gigi go to high school with Natalia and ask her how her day went. We didn’t get a chance to teach her how to drive a car. I won’t be able to tell her how gorgeous she looks on her wedding day. I will never get to see my baby girl walk down the aisle, have a father-daughter dance with her daddy, dance on the dance floor with me and have babies of her own,” said Vanessa, in tears.
In addition to this, Vanessa recalls her and Kobe’s love story. She calls Kobe her “soulmate” and revealed that he even gifted her the actual blue dress Rachel McAdams wore in the movie, The Notebook.
She concluded her speech with, “Babe, you take care of our Gigi. I got Nati, BiBi and KoKo, and we’re still the best team. We love and miss you, Boo-Boo and Gigi. May you both rest in peace and have fun in heaven until we meet again one day. We love you both and miss you forever and always, Mommy.”
The sold out public memorial, which included appearances by Beyoncé, Alicia Keys and Christina Aguilera, was attended by thousands of fans.
The Lakers said proceeds from ticket sales would be donated to the Mamba Sports Foundation and Mambacita.
I cannot imagine the pain Vanessa and her family is going through right now. Her speech has me in shambles, especially the part where she says, “God knew they couldn’t be on this Earth without each other. He had to bring them home to have them together.”
Watch the full video of Vanessa’s speech here:
Our hearts are with Vanessa and the families of the other victims.
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