LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Vanessa Bryant shared an emotional tribute to her husband Kobe Bryant and their daughter Gianna, both of whom were among the nine killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas.

She posted a photo of the Bryant family on her Instagram with a caption that read:

“My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. 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.”

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My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. 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. 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. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon. I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. 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. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever. Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality. To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org. To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org. Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me. #Mamba #Mambacita #GirlsDad #DaddysGirls #Family ❤️

A post shared by Vanessa Bryant 🦋 (@vanessabryant) on

“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. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon,” she wrote.

“I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. 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. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever.”

She announced that those wishing to help support the other families affected can donate to MambaOnThree.org.

“Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality.
To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org. To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org.”

Earlier Wednesday, Vanessa changed her Instagram photo to a picture of Kobe and Gianna in a loving embrace. The photo change was the first public acknowledgment she made since the Sunday crash. She also changed her profile from private to public.

The photo, taken during the NBA All-Star Game at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on February 14, 2016, showed Bryant holding his daughter as she smiled up at him.

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The Lakers legend, 41, and Gianna, 13, were among the nine people aboard a Sikorsky S-76 helicopter around 9:45 a.m. when it crashed in Calabasas amid foggy conditions.

The helicopter had departed from John Wayne Airport in Orange County and was bound for Camarillo, with the passengers on board heading to Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, where he was set to coach Gianna in a tournament game.

Also killed in the crash were John Altobelli, the head baseball coach at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, his wife Keri and their 13-year-old daughter Alyssa, one of Gianna’s teammates. 45-year-old Sarah Chester and her 13-year-old daughter Payton — another teammate — were aboard as well, along with 38-year-old Christina Mauser, one of Bryant’s assistant coaches, and pilot 50-year-old Ara Zobayan.

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