Kobe Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, took to Instagram just hours before Monday’s celebration of life ceremony to share a tattoo that U.S. soccer star Sydney Leroux got to honor her daughter, Gianna.
“#2 [heart emoji], Leroux. Thank you for honoring my Gigi. I love you,” Vanessa wrote. The images shows a tattoo of the jersey number two, which is what Gianna wore in her Mamba Sports Academy basketball league.
Leroux shared a heartfelt message about Gianna and Kobe on January 27th, the day after they — and seven others — died in a tragic helicopter crash.
“Gigi you were a star. Your dad told me that you were going to be better than he was. You had the gift no matter what you were playing. I know you’ll be looking down on your mom and your sisters with your big smile while shooting hoops with your dad, doing what you both love. 2 will always be ours,” she wrote.
“Kobe – thank you for allowing me in to your beautiful family. Thank you for believing in me. Being there for me during the good times and the tough ones. For your crazy book recommendations and your quotes. For helping me write. For teaching me to never soften for anybody. For teaching me about the darkness and the light and the villains becoming the heroes. I won’t forget any of it. I’ll miss you.”
ABC News will be streaming coverage of their celebration of life ceremony on Monday via ABC News Live and can be accessed by using Roku, Hulu, Xumo, Sling TV, Facebook Watch, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and the ABC News mobile app. The coverage will be anchored by Tom Llamas and is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT.
In addition, all major networks are expected to be airing the service on television.
Two weeks ago, Vanessa opened up about her difficult mourning process.
“I’ve been reluctant to put my feelings into words. My brain refuses to accept that both Kobe and Gigi are gone,” she wrote on Instagram. “I can’t process both at the same time. It’s like I’m trying to process Kobe being gone but my body refuses to accept my Gigi will never come back to me. It feels wrong. Why should I be able to wake up another day when my baby girl isn’t being able to have that opportunity?! I’m so mad. She had so much life to live.”
She continued, “Then I realize I need to be strong and be here for my 3 daughters. Mad I’m not with Kobe and Gigi but thankful I’m here with Natalia, Bianka and Capri. I know what I’m feeling is normal. It’s part of the grieving process. I just wanted to share in case there’s anyone out there that’s experienced a loss like this. God I wish they were here and this nightmare would be over. Praying for all of the victims of this horrible tragedy. Please continue to pray for all.”