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How Vanessa Bryant’s Mom Is Helping Her Through Dark Days After Kobe Bryant Tragedy (Exclusive)

Somebody to lean on. Vanessa Bryant’s mother, Sofia Laine, has “been her rock” in the weeks since her husband, Kobe Bryant, and their 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, lost their lives in a tragic helicopter crash on January 26.

Related: Kobe Bryant’s Life in Photos

Vanessa, 37, “is incredibly close to her mom and her mom has been her rock throughout the past few weeks,” a source tells Us Weekly exclusively. “Her mom is always with her and the girls [Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months] and she’s been keeping Vanessa strong and she’s the weight of her support system.”

Vanessa Laine, from left to right, Natalia Bryant, Gianna Bryant and Sofia Laine
Vanessa Bryant with her daughters and mother Sofia Laine John Salangsang/Invision/AP/Shutterstock
The former model is “is in denial” as she grieves her staggering loss but she is aware that “life must go on” for her family, the source adds. “There is no other option, simply put,” the insider says. “Vanessa takes solace in the support of her mom and her sister [Sophie Laine], who are committed to seeing her through this. But at the end of the day, there aren’t words to describe her feelings.”
The source notes that it “will take a very long time for life to normalize” for Vanessa.

Related: Kobe Bryant’s Sweetest Moments With His Family

On Monday, February 10, Vanessa opened up about losing both her teenage daughter and husband of nearly two decades at the same time. She shared a video to Instagram of Kobe coaching Gianna and her teammates.

“I’ve been reluctant to put my feelings into words. My brain refuses to accept that both Kobe and Gigi are gone,” she wrote. “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.”

Vanessa continued, “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. 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.”

Vanessa Bryant’s Mom Is Helping Her Through Kobe Bryant Tragedy
Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Bryant AFF-USA/Shutterstock

Kobe and Gianna were among nine people who perished on a private helicopter last month. The aircraft crashed into a hillside in Calabasas, California, and burst into flames.

Related: Kobe Bryant’s 10 Most Inspirational Quotes

Vanessa initially broke her silence on the tragedy via Instagram on January 29, sharing a photo of her family smiling together. She thanked everyone for their support during the trying period, but noted how “completely devastated” she was by loss of her husband, daughter and all other individuals involved in the accident.

“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,” she continued. “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.”

Vanessa and Kobe tied the knot in 2001. In his 20-year athletic career with the Los Angeles Lakers, he was a five-time NBA champion, 18-time All-Star and scored a whopping 33,643 points on the court. He was 41.

Us confirmed that a private service was held for Kobe and Gianna in Corona Del Mar, California, on February 7. A second funeral will be held in their honor at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Monday, February 24. The Staples Center service will be open to the public.

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