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Kobe & Gianna Bryant Laid to Rest in Private Funeral

Gettyimages | Elsa
By Alyssa McCraw

New documents reveal that both Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant were laid to rest in private funeral services last Friday, February 7th. They were interred at Pacific View Mortuary & Memorial Park in Corona Del Mar, California - the same place that legendary actor John Wayne is buried.

Although it is unknown how big or small the ceremonies were (or if they were joint), a recent Instagram post from Vanessa Bryant has people believing that Kobe's sister Sharia Bryant-Washington was in attendance at the somber occasion.

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Kobe Bryant
Gettyimages | Harry How

The video posted by Vanessa shows the couple's youngest daughter, Capri, learning how to stand with the assistance of her aunt "Ri-Ri" (Sharia).

"My Koko Bean," Vanessa's caption began. "She looks just like my Gigi with her daddy’s eyes."

Capri is only seven months old and is one of two daughters left behind by their father Kobe and late sister, Gianna. Vanessa and Kobe's oldest, Natalia, celebrated her 17th birthday exactly one week before the January 26th tragedy. Their middle child, Bianka, turned three years old just before the Christmas holiday.

A fan paying tribute to the late Kobe Bryant in a shrine outside the Los Angeles STAPLES Center.
Gettyimages | David McNew

The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner's Office released both Kobe and Gianna's bodies back to the Bryant family about a week after the fatal helicopter accident. The aircraft crashed into a Calabasas, California mountainside on their way to Kobe's Mamba Sports Academy, claiming the lives of all nine passengers onboard. The other seven were Sarah and Payton Chester, Christina Mauser, John, Keri, and Alyssa Altobelli, as well as the pilot, Ara Zobayan. Each victim was stated to have died from injuries sustained as a result of blunt force trauma.

Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Bryant.
Gettyimages | Andrew D. Bernstein

Although she has now made several posts since the loss of her husband and daughter, Vanessa's first statement was especially touching. The heartbreaking letter came accompanied by a recent photo of their family of six.

"Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them," she wrote on January 29th. "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. 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."

Fans paying tribute to the late Kobe Bryant in a shrine outside the Los Angeles STAPLES Center.
Wikimedia | https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kobe_Bryant_(49447890278).jpg

She concluded her beautiful tribute by announcing the MambaOnThree Fund, which she states was set up by the Mamba Sports Foundation "to help support the other families affected by this tragedy."

A public memorial to honor both Kobe and Gianna Bryant is slated for the morning of Monday, February 24th at the Los Angeles STAPLES Center. While the arena is technically leased to the Los Angeles Clippers for the entirety of the day (due to their home game being held in the evening), it's reported that officials for the sports team were more than flexible when it came to accommodating the special event on such a symbolic day. The date, 2-24-20, is a nod to the jersey numbers of both Gigi (#2) and Kobe (#24).

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