Vanessa Bryant, wife of Kobe Bryant, broke her silence Wednesday, three days after her husband and their 13-year-old daughter, Gianna "Gigi" Bryant, were killed in a helicopter crash with seven others.
She posted on Instagram to thank fans for their outpouring of support.
"Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them," she wrote. "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, who married the Los Angeles Lakers legend in 2001, added her sympathies to the other families impacted by the tragedy.
"There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved," she wrote. "We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever."
Vanessa said both her husband and their 13-year-old daughter were "beautiful blessings taken from us too soon."
The post was made hours after Vanessa, 37, changed her Instagram account from private to public. At that time, she also changed her profile picture to a photo showing her late daughter and husband lovingly embracing on a basketball court.
It is the first time Vanessa has publicly commented on the deaths of her husband and their daughter. The couple had three other daughters together, Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months.
"I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them," she wrote. "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."