At this point in quarantine, most of our days have begun to blur together. But for Vanessa Bryant, today is one day that will always stand out — on May 1, her late daughter Gianna Bryant would have turned 14. In a heartrending Instagram post, she celebrated the bittersweet milestone with a touching tribute to the child she lost earlier this year.
Gianna tragically died in January when, along with her father Kobe Bryant and seven other victims, the helicopter carrying them crashed in Calabasas, California. They were on the way to a basketball game for Gianna’s Mamba Academy basketball team, which Kobe coached. She was 13 years old at the time, just four months shy of her next birthday.
So, on Friday, Vanessa marked the occasion by sharing a colorful snapshot of “Gigi” that captures her charisma. “Happy 14th Birthday to my sweet baby girl, Gianna,” Vanessa wrote. “Mommy loves you more than I can ever show you. You are part of MY SOUL forever. I miss you so much everyday. I wish I could wake up and have you here with me. I miss your smile, your hugs and your giggles. I miss EVERYTHING about YOU, Gigi. I LOVE YOU so much!!!!!!”
Since the devastating accident that took Kobe and Gianna’s lives, Vanessa has honored their memory by sharing tributes and photos of both. Last month, she shared a sweet photo of Gianna on the basketball court wearing her No. 2 jersey. She and her two teammates who also perished in the crash were being honored by the WNBA as honorary draft picks.
“I’m so proud of you, Gigi. God I miss you baby. You Deserved to live a long, healthy and happy life. I wish I could hold you and tell you how proud I am of you,” she captioned the on-court shot of her late daughter. “You’re the best, baby girl. Mommy loves and misses you more than I could ever express.”
Vanessa also mourned another missed milestone in April: her 19th wedding anniversary with Kobe. Lamenting the loss on Instagram, she wrote, “My king, my heart, my best friend. Happy 19th wedding anniversary baby. I miss you so much. I wis you were here to hold me in your arms. I love you.”