Vanessa Bryant Says ‘Grief Is a Messed Up Cluster of Emotions’ Nearly 1 Year After Kobe Bryant’s Death

Learning to cope. Vanessa Bryant opened up about the rocky road of grieving and the importance of persevering nearly one year after Kobe Bryant’s tragic death.

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“Let me be real — Grief is a messed up cluster of emotions,” the 38-year-old wrote via her Instagram Stories on Friday, January 15. “One day you’re in the moment laughing and the next day you don’t feel like being alive. I want to say this for the people struggling with grief and heartbreaking loss. Find your reason to live.”

Vanessa Bryant Gets Real About Grief Nearly 1 Year After Kobe Bryant Death
Courtesy Vanessa Bryant/Instagram

The California native continued, “I look at my daughters and I try to push through that feeling for them. Death is guaranteed, but living the rest of the day isn’t. Find your reason.”

In January 2020, Kobe died at age 41 in a tragic helicopter accident in Calabasas, California. Eight other people passed away in the fatal crash, including the NBA legend and the former model’s daughter Gianna, 13.

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The father-daughter pair were laid to rest during a private funeral service held in February 2020. Later that month, a larger memorial gathering took place at the Los Angeles Staples Center — the venue where Kobe played with the Los Angeles Lakers for 20 years.

Vanessa Bryant Gets Real About Grief Nearly 1 Year After Kobe Bryant Death
Vanessa Bryant and Kobe Bryant. Eric Charbonneau/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Three months after Kobe and Gianna’s passing, an insider told Us Weekly exclusively how Vanessa was coping. “No two days are the same for Vanessa,” a source close to the Bryant family revealed. “One day she feels motivated, and the next she’s depressed and needs to take time for herself. … There are moments when it all completely consumes her.”

The longtime pair, who wed in 2001, also shared daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 4, and Capri, 18 months. On the fourth anniversary of Kobe’s NBA retirement in April 2020, Vanessa reflected on how the former pro baller wanted to focus on his children after ending his athletic career.

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“My husband worked his ass off for 20 years. Gave it his all,” she wrote via Instagram alongside a video from Kobe’s final NBA game in April 2016. “All he wanted was to spend time with our girls and me to make up for lost time. He wanted to be there for every single milestone and special moment in our girls lives.”

The Bryant family recently celebrated their first Christmas without Kobe and Gianna. Vanessa shared a present-day shot with her daughters and a throwback pic that included Kobe and Giana, writing, “Always Together, Never Apart Together Forever In Our Hearts. Kobe, Vanessa, Natalia, Gianna, Bianka and Capri.”

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