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Vanessa Bryant Shares Moving Letter on the Anniversary of Gianna's Death

"Kob, we did it right," she wrote. "Gigi, you still make mommy proud."

It was one year ago today, Jan. 26, 2020, that NBA star Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant were killed during a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. Now, on the anniversary of their deaths, Kobe's wife Vanessa Bryant has shared some of her thoughts on this harrowing day, as well as a special letter from Gianna's best friend. Read on to see the moving tribute, and for more on the effects of the terrible accident, There's Now a New Law Inspired by the Kobe Bryant Tragedy.

Vanessa shared a moving letter one of Gianna's best friends wrote her, with the young girl's permission.

Vanessa Bryant letter
Vanessa Bryant/Instagram

On Instagram, Vanessa posted a letter that one of Gianna's best friends, Aubrey Callaghan, sent her in which she shared her memories of her friend and told her mother about the wonderful daughter she raised. "Today I received this sweet letter from one of Gianna's best friends, Aubrey," Vanessa wrote in her Instagram caption. "I love you Aubz (as my Gigi would call you). Thank you so much for beautifully sharing some of your memories of my Gigi with me and allowing me to share them here on my ig."

The young girl told Vanessa she hopes her "daughter turns out exactly as [hers] did."

Vanessa Bryant Kobe Bryant and daughters

In her letter, Aubrey shared some memories of Gianna with Vanessa. She told her about their time doing musicals and playing basketball together. "The mere fact that she boosted my confidence enough to get me to play basketball with her for four years shows how powerful she was," Aubrey wrote. She said that Gianna always knew how to make her feel better and "was generous with her snacks when I forgot mine." She also reflected on Gianna's passion for equality in sports and the effect she had on those around her.

"You have probably heard this, but if I ever become a mom, I hope my daughter turns out exactly as yours did," Aubrey wrote to Vanessa.

At the end of the letter, Aubrey offered to share stories of Gianna with Vanessa whenever she needed them: "I am filled to the brim and would be privileged to share them with you."

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Vanessa responded that Gigi continues to make her proud.

Kobe Bryant and daughters
Vanessa Bryant/Instagram

In response to the letter, Vanessa wrote in her Instagram caption, "My Gigi is INCREDIBLE and I truly appreciate your thoughtful letter. She loves you so much."

She also wrote a message to her husband about how they raised their daughter right. "I miss my baby girl and Kob-Kob so much, too," she wrote. "I will never understand why/how this tragedy could've happened to such beautiful, kind and amazing human beings. It still doesn't seem real. Kob, we did it right. Gigi, you still make mommy proud. I love you!"

The day before the anniversary of her death, Vanessa posted a different sort of tribute to Gianna.

Vanessa Bryant and Pau Gasol's daughter
Vanessa Bryant/Instagram

On Jan. 25, Vanessa posted a photo of herself with the baby daughter of Kobe's former Lakers teammate Pau Gasol. "My goddaughter Ellie Gianna," Vanessa captioned the photo. The NBA star and his wife, Catherine Gasol, decided to name their daughter after Gianna when she was born in Sept. 2020.

In addition to Gianna, the Bryants share three other daughters, 18-year-old Natalia, four-year-old Bianka, and one-year-old Capri.

And for more recent celebrity news, check out Garth Brooks Reveals How Lady Gaga "Saved" Him at the Inauguration.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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