Vanessa Bryant, 38, just celebrated her birthday on May 5. It marked her first birthday since the early-2020 death of her late husband, Kobe, and her daughter Gianna.
Kobe’s death — which occurred as the result of a tragic and unexpected helicopter accident — marked the start of what has been an emotional and traumatic year for many. Since his death, Vanessa has been sharing some sweet moments and mementos on social media that have been giving us even more feels.
Now, she’s shared another one. In her latest post, she revealed that she found a letter Kobe had written to her, which she saved to read on her birthday.
“Yesterday I found an envelope labeled To: The Love of my Life. From, Tu Papi,” wrote Vanessa. “I waited to open one more letter on my birthday. It gave me something to look forward to today. The irony is that Kobe had a photo of me drawn with an Angel holding me up by an artist on the cover.”
She did not share this picture on her feed. Instead, she later posted an image of piñatas and flowers that her surviving daughters put together for her special milestone.
Vanessa’s daughter Gianna would have had a birthday just before her mom’s. She was slated to turn 14 on May 1. Vanessa posted a memorial to her daughter that day:
In her post, Vanessa urged people to wear red in honor of Gianna and wrote that she was working with her Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation to make the bracelet pictured available for sale. Proceeds from these sales will go toward funding the organization, which helps provide underserved communities and individuals with sports programming.
The foundation was created by Kobe, and was initially just called the Mamba Foundation. It was renamed after his and Gianna’s deaths to include a reference to her as well. She has previously been referred to as “Mambacita,” a play on Kobe’s own “Black Mamba” nickname.
Here’s Vanessa’s post about the name change back in February:
What a lovely tribute and legacy for Kobe and Gigi to leave behind!
The deaths of Kobe and his adorable mini-me are still recent and raw but, hopefully, the message Kobe left behind for his wife will help her and his children heal just a bit more easily.