A grieving Vanessa Bryant honored her husband and daughter during a public memorial on Monday where she shared why she believes God took them both to Heaven at the same time.
Bryant delivered a heartbreaking eulogy during the star-studded “celebration of life” at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Before introducing Bryant, comedian Jimmy Kimmel spoke of the beloved basketball star’s strong Catholic faith and he instructed everyone in attendance to greet one another as they do in church.
The widow took the stage after a video montage and a song dedication by Beyoncé. She started by talking of her late daughter, Gianna, 13, who was killed in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26 alongside her father, Kobe, and seven others.
Bryant said her daughter was “one of my very best friends. … She was daddy’s girl but I know she loved her mama.”
The loving mother described her daughter as “competitive like her daddy,” “tender and loving on the inside,” “an incredible athlete,” “so energetic,” “confident but not in an arrogant way,” “our shepherd,” and a young lady who would have eventually been one of “the best player in the WNBA.”
Bryant then honored her husband.
Kobe “was mine, he was my everything,” she gushed, calling the iconic athlete “the most amazing husband.”
“Kobe loved me more than I could ever express or put into words,” she said, revealing that they “loved each other with our whole beings.”
Before concluding her emotional speech, Bryant reflected on the gift that both Kobe and Gianna were to her and the world.
“They were so easy to love. Everyone naturally gravitated toward them. They were funny, happy, silly, and they loved life. They were so full of joy and adventure,” Bryant said.
She pegged her deceased husband as the “MVP of girl dads,” a father “who never left the toilet seat up,” and “always told the girls how beautiful and smart they are.”
Gianna was following in her father’s footsteps and after retiring from the NBA, Kobe devoted his life to his family and coaching his daughter Gigi’s basketball team. The two were inseparable and Bryant said she believes it’s why they went to Heaven at the same time.
“God knew they couldn’t be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to have them together,” Bryant added.
“Babe, you take care of our Gigi. May you both rest in peace and have fun in Heaven until we meet again someday,” she ended.