It’s been more than a year since Vanessa Bryant lost her husband, NBA legend Kobe Bryant, and their 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, in a helicopter crash.
And the pain that comes with that grief is inconceivable. Nonetheless, Vanessa told PEOPLE that she is finding ways to “push forward”.
“This pain is unimaginable [but] you just have to get up and push forward,” she says. “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.”
She says she finds solace in her daughters 18-year-old Natalia, four-year-old Bianka, and 20-month-old Capri.
“My girls help me smile through the pain,” she says. “They give me strength.”
Additionally, she has now taken charge of the creative projects left unfinished at Granity Studios, the late star’s multi-media company she now heads. And she recently relaunched Vanessa Kobe’s charitable non-profit as Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation, a nod to the father-daughter duo, to help empower young girls and provide equal opportunities to underserved athletes.
“I guess the best way to describe it is that Kobe and Gigi motivate me to keep going,” she says. “They inspire me to try harder and be better every day. Their love is unconditional and they motivate me in so many different ways.”