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Vanessa Bryant speaks on life this past year: ‘Kobe and Gigi motivate me to keep going’

“I can’t say that I’m strong every day,”

More than a year after her husband and daughter were killed, Vanessa Bryant is opening up about how she continues to find light during her darkest days.

On January 26, 2020, Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, were killed in a helicopter crash along with seven others. Ever since, Kobe’s wife of almost 20 years has shared small parts of her life with us through social media, persevering through such a tough time along with her daughters: Natalia, 18, Bianka, 4, and 20-month-old Capri.

This week, Bryant is gracing the cover of PEOPLE Magazine for their Women Changing the World issue, where she talks about the ups and downs of her life, personally and professionally, over the past 14 months.

“I can‘t say that I’m strong every day,” she tells the mag. “I can’t say that there aren’t days when I feel like I can’t survive to the next.”

One of the things that has kept Vanessa busy this past year is taking charge of the creative projects left unfinished at Granity Studios, the late star’s multi-media company she now helms. Bryant also relaunched Kobe’s charitable non-profit as Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation, a nod to the father-daughter duo, to help empower young girls and provide equal opportunities to underserved athletes.

“This pain is unimaginable [but] you just have to get up and push forward,” she continues. “Lying in bed crying isn‘t going to change the fact that my family will never be the same again. But getting out of bed and pushing forward is going to make the day better for my girls and for me. So that’s what I do.”

Through it all, during her toughest times, Vanessa draws inspiration from Kobe and Gigi.

“I guess the best way to describe it is that Kobe and Gigi motivate me to keep going,” she explains. “They inspire me to try harder and be better every day. Their love is unconditional and they motivate me in so many different ways.”

She continues, “My girls help me smile through the pain. They give me strength...I want to make Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka and Capri proud.

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