Vanessa Bryant honors her husband Kobe and their daughter Gianna on the one-year anniversary of their deaths.
Tuesday on Instagram, Vanessa shared a touching letter from Gianna’s close friend Aubrey Callaghan where she remembers the 13-year-old as “kind, caring and endlessly polite.”
On January 26, 2020, Kobe, Gianna, and seven other passengers were killed in a helicopter crash en route to Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, for a girls basketball practice.
“I hope that in the midst of your intense sadness you catch a glimpse of joy in who the daughter you created and raised was,” Aubrey wrote to Vanessa. “You did it right Mrs. Bryant, and we are all eternally grateful to you.”
In response to the letter, Vanessa — who is also mom to daughters Natalia, 18, Bianka, 4, and 1-year-old Capri — thanked Aubrey “for beautifully sharing some of your memories of my Gigi with me and allowing me to share them here on my ig.”
“My Gigi is INCREDIBLE and I truly appreciate your thoughtful letter,” Vanessa continued. “She loves you so much. I miss my baby girl and Kob-Kob so much, too.”
Though she “will never understand why/how this tragedy could’ve happened to such beautiful, kind and amazing human beings,” she takes solace in her and Kobe’s parenting.
“Kob, we did it right. Gigi, you still make mommy proud. I love you!” she concluded.
The tragic January 26 crash also claimed the lives of Gianna’s basketball teammate Alyssa Altobelli; Alyssa’s father, Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli; Alyssa’s mother, Keri Altobelli; Harbor Day School basketball coach Christina Mauser; middle school student Payton Chester; Payton’s mother, Sarah Chester; and pilot Ara Zobayan.
Last February, Vanessa filed a wrongful death suit against the owners of the helicopter, Island Express Helicopters Inc., as well as a representative or successor for Zobayan alleging negligence. Both defendants have denied wrongdoing.