Kobe Bryant's wife Vanessa is "completely devastated" following the death of Kobe and their 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
The 41-year-old basketball legend and Gianna were among nine people killed when his private helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California, on Sunday (26.01.20), and on Wednesday (29.01.20), his widow Vanessa broke her silence on the tragic news to let fans know she appreciates the "support" they have shown her.
Vanessa - who also has 17-year-old Natalia, three-year-old Bianka, and seven-month-old Capri with Kobe - wrote in a lengthy Instagram post: "My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who've shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe - the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna - a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. (sic)"
The beauty went on to express her heartbreak for the other seven people involved in the crash and their families, and said there are "no words" to describe the "pain" she is going through.
She added: "We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately.
"There aren't enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon. (sic)"
Vanessa vows to "keep pushing" forward for the sake of her other children.
She said: "I'm not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it's impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless -- and that's to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever. (sic)"
And the star closed her message by asking fans to donate to the MambaOnThree Fund, which was set up by the Mamba Sports Academy, where Gianna played basketball.
Vanessa wrote: "Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality.
"To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org.
To further Kobe and Gianna's legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org.
Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me. #Mamba #Mambacita #GirlsDad #DaddysGirls #Family (sic)"