"Kisses to you and Gigi in heaven," Vanessa Bryant wrote on Instagram on Valentine's Day

By Ashley Boucher
February 14, 2020 06:08 PM
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Vanessa Bryant is wishing her late husband Kobe Bryant a happy Valentine’s Day nearly three weeks after his death.

Vanessa, 37, shared a photo of Kobe wrapping his arms around her and giving her a kiss on the cheek while she smiles at the camera. Underneath the photo, lyrics to Lauryn Hill’s song “Tell Him” scrolled by.

“To my forever Valentine, I love you so much,” Vanessa wrote in the Instagram caption. “Missing you so much on your favorite holiday. Te amo per sempre.”

The tribute post was also dedicated to the couple’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant, who died alongside her dad and seven others in the helicopter crash on January 26.

“Kisses to you and Gigi in heaven,” Vanessa added in the caption. “Happy Valentine’s Day, my babies. With all my love, your boo-boo.”

The post garnered several comments of support for Vanessa, including one from Khloe Kardashian, who wrote, “I love you V! Your love will last forever and always ❤️❤️❤️”

Vanessa and Kobe tied the knot in April 2001, when he was just 22 and she was 18. During their nearly 19-year marriage, the couple welcomed four daughters: Gianna, Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and 7-month-old Capri.

Vanessa’s moving post comes the same day that the Lakers announced details of the public memorial that will be held for the NBA legend and his daughter on February 24.

The date of the memorial, 2/24/20, holds special significance for the Bryant family, as Gianna wore jersey No. 2 at the Mamba Sports Academy, and Bryant wore No. 24 in the latter half of his career. The “20” also represents the number of years Byrant and Vanessa were together.

The other victims of the crash —  John AltobelliKeri AltobelliAlyssa AltobelliSarah Chester, Payton ChesterChristina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan — will also be honored at the event, which has a limited number of tickets available for purchase, with all the proceeds going to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation.

PEOPLE confirmed earlier this week that Kobe and Gianna were laid to rest at the Pacific View Memorial Park and Mortuary in Corona Del Mar, California, ahead of the public memorial.

Bryant family
Vanessa Bryant Instagram

In the weeks after Kobe and Gianna’s death, Vanessa has shared several tributes to the father-daughter pair on Instagram, first breaking her silence on the tragedy on January 29.

“My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time,” she wrote. “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.”

Vanessa and Kobe Bryant
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

“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,” Vanessa continued. “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.”

“I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them,” the caption went on. “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.”

If you would like to help the families of the victims of the crash, consider donating to the Mamba on Three Fund. Contributions to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation will help support youth sports.