In a new interview, Vanessa Bryant opened up about how her late husband Kobe and daughter Gianna—both of whom died in a tragic helicopter crash in Calabasas in January of last year alongside seven others—still inspire her to keep moving forward.
Speaking with People for a special Women Changing the world cover story feature published on Wednesday, Vanessa got candid when detailing how she’s been working hard for the past 14 months to ensure a rebuilt life for her family, including 20-month-old Capri Kobe Bryant.
As Vanessa explained, she “can’t say” she’s been “strong” every day since the death of her husband and 13-year-old daughter.
“I can’t say that there aren’t days when I feel like I can’t survive to the next,” Vanessa, whose recent projects have included taking the lead at Granity Studios and relaunching the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation, said.
Addressing the importance of finding the strength to keep going, Vanessa praised her family as being a continual source of motivation.
“This pain is unimaginable [but] you just have to get up and push forward,” she said. “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.”
The journey toward the larger goal of “finding the light in darkness,” Vanessa added, has been given a foundation thanks to the memory of Kobe and Gigi.
“I guess the best way to describe it is that Kobe and Gigi motivate me to keep going,” she said. “They inspire me to try harder and be better every day. Their love is unconditional and they motivate me in so many different ways.”
For more from the People feature, including exclusive photos, check out the full experience here.
In January, Vanessa Bryant marked the one-year anniversary of Kobe and Gianna’s death by sharing a letter from one of Gianna’s friends, Aubrey.
“I will never understand why/how this tragedy could’ve happened to such beautiful, kind and amazing human beings,” Vanessa said when sharing the letter on Instagram. “It still doesn’t seem real.”