Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were laid to rest two weeks after they died in a helicopter crash
Almost two weeks after their tragic deaths in a helicopter crash, NBA great Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were laid to rest during a private funeral at Pacific View Memorial Park in Corona Del Mar, California.
The father and daughter were given a joint funeral attended by family. The pair are survived by Vanessa Bryant and their three other girls — Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months.
“Vanessa and the family wanted a private service to mourn their loss,” a source tells ET. “The ceremony was extremely hard for everyone as it’s still hard for them to grasp they lost two beautiful souls.”
Vanessa has recently shared her deep anguish and grief over losing her husband and daughter. She wrote on Monday that she’s still in disbelief that her loved ones are gone. “I can’t process both at the same time. It’s like I’m trying to process Kobe being gone but my body refuses to accept my Gigi will never come back to me. It feels wrong. Why should I be able to wake up another day when my baby girl isn’t being able to have that opportunity?! I’m so mad. She had so much life to live.”
She also acknowledged that despite her overwhelming grief, she still needs to be present for her other three children. “I know what I’m feeling is normal. It’s part of the grieving process. I just wanted to share in case there’s anyone out there that’s experienced a loss like this,” she says.
In addition to the private service, Vanessa recently shared that there would be a public memorial held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles where Kobe played his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. The date of February 24 holds special significance. “#2, #24, #20 years as a Laker and the amount of years Kob and I were together,” Vanessa writes alongside a graphic showing the memorial’s date and time.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti confirms that another service is being planned to honor all nine people lost in the crash. “There will absolutely be a memorial to mark the contributions of this incredible man and not only him, but to commemorate the loss of his daughter and all the other families that were there,” he tells The Los Angeles Times. The public memorial will grieve the loss of Kobe, Gianna, and the seven others who died that day — Alyssa Altobelli, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Payton Chester, Sarah Chester, Christina Mauser and Ara Zobayan.
Garcetti tells the Times, “We don’t have that date finalized but we’ve been talking every day to the Lakers, and most importantly, to [Bryant’s widow, Vanessa] as well,” he explained. “I think one message that I would say is this is not just about a man who was a basketball player, this is about a father, this is about a leader, this is about a filmmaker, this is about an artist, this is about somebody who was so much more than just how he was on the court.”
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