Vanessa Bryant Delivers Heartbreaking Speech at Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s Memorial Service
The event — which is called "The Celebration of Life for Kobe and Gianna" — is taking place at the Staples Center, where the NBA star played for the Los Angeles Lakers for his 20-season long basketball career.
Vanessa walked on stage to pay tribute to her late husband and 13-year-old daughter, who were killed along with seven others in a tragic helicopter crash on January 26 in Calabasas, California.
"The outpouring of love and support that my family has felt from around the world has been so uplifting," she began. "Thank you so much for all your prayers. I’d like to talk about both Kobe and Gigi, but I’ll start with my baby girl first."
"Gianna Bryant is an amazing sweet and gentle soul," Vanessa told the crowd.
"She was always thoughtful, she always kissed me good night and kissed me good morning," the proud mom shared. "There were a few occasions where I was absolutely tired from being up with Bianca and Capri and I thought she had left for school without saying goodbye. I’d text and say ‘No kiss?’ and Gianna would reply with ‘Mama, I kissed you but you were asleep and I didn’t want to wake you.’ She knew how much her morning and evening kisses meant to me, and she was so thoughtful to remember to kiss me every day. She was daddy’s girl, but I know she loved her mama and she would always tell me and show me how much she loved me.”
"I cannot imagine life without her," she added. "Gigi was sunshine. She brightened up my day every day."
"We will not be able to see Gianna go to highschool with Natalia... we didn’t get the chance to teach her how to drive a car," Vanessa continued. “I won’t be able to tell her how gorgeous she looks on her wedding day. I’ll never get to see my baby girl walk down the aisle, have a father-daughter dance with her daddy...or have babies of her own."
She then spoke of her "soulmate" Kobe, telling the crowd "he was my everything."
"He was the most amazing husband. Kobe loved me more than I could ever express or put into words. He was the early bird, and I was the night owl. I was fire and he was ice, and vice versa at times. We balanced each other out. He would do anything for me," Vanessa said. "He isn’t going to be able to walk our girls down the aisle or spin me around on the dance floor but I want my girls to know the amazing man, husband and father he was."
"They were funny, happy, silly and they loved life," she said, adding, "God knew they couldn't be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to heaven together. Babe, you take care of our Gigi."