Vanessa Bryant Discovers Love Letter Kobe Wrote Before His Death

Vanessa Bryant turned 38 on May 5 and got something she’ll never forget: a secret gift from her late husband, Kobe Bryant. The mom-of-four revealed on Instagram that she had found a letter from Kobe just before her big day. It appears to be the very last message from the former NBA star, who was killed in a Jan. 26 helicopter crash alongside his daughter Gianna Bryant and seven other passengers.

Vanessa and Kobe Bryant at a party in March 2018
Vanessa and Kobe Bryant at a party in March 2018 | Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images North America

Kobe Bryant’s letter to Vanessa Bryant

Bryant announced the letter on the afternoon of her birthday.

“Yesterday I found an envelope labeled To: The Love of my Life. From, Tu Papi ❤️I waited to open one more letter on my birthday. It gave me something to look forward to today❤️,” she began.

“The irony is that Kobe had a photo of me drawn with an Angel holding me up by an artist on the cover. Missing the Love of my Life and my sweet little Mamacita- my fellow Taurus,” she continued, referring to Gianna, who would have turned 14 earlier in May. “Grateful to wake up to my 3 sweet girls today. Wish we were all together.”

Bryant also recently celebrated what would have been her and Kobe’s 19th wedding anniversary. She rang in the day with a photo of the former NBA star kissing her on the cheek.

“My king, my heart, my best friend. Happy 19th wedding anniversary baby. I miss you so much. I wish you were here to hold me in your arms. I love you,” she captioned the image.

A look back at Kobe Bryant’s death

Bryant was traveling from the Los Angeles area to Thousand Oaks, California to attend one of Gianna’s basketball games when their helicopter crashed into a hillside and caught fire. The crash killed all nine passengers, who were friends of the Bryants.

The cause of the accident remains under investigation, but engine failure has been ruled out. It is suspected that weather conditions might have contributed to the crash, as the chopper was flying in a heavy fog before it went down, but nothing has been confirmed just yet.

A few weeks after the crash, Kobe and Gianna were reportedly buried in a private ceremony. They were also honored in a Feb. 24 memorial at the Staples Center, where Bryant eulogized her late husband and daughter. In her remarks, she spoke on how close the two were and how proud she was of them.

“God knew they couldn’t be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to heaven together,” Bryant said in part.

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My Gigi

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Vanessa Bryant’s life after Kobe Bryant

Bryant wrote in a January 29 Instagram post that she was “completely devastated” about the loss of her husband and daughter but said she had been trying to stay positive and “keep pushing.” She often takes to social media to show photos and videos of her new life with her and Kobe’s three other children: Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 10 months.

After the crash, Bryant launched a fund to support the other victims of the crash and then filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the helicopter company and the pilot of the doomed aircraft. As of writing, the matter is ongoing.

Read more: Natalia Bryant Shares Rare Social Media Post About Gigi In Honor of Her Birthday