Vanessa Bryant shares touching letter from Gigi’s friend on her ‘angel of a daughter’

Kobe, Vanessa and Gianna Bryant at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Vanessa Bryant marked the one-year anniversary of the death of her husband, Kobe, and their daughter Gianna by sharing a beautiful letter on Instagram.

It was written by one of Gigi’s close friends, classmate Aubrey Callaghan. Bryant said she received permission from Callaghan to share the touching note with the world.

“My mind constantly thinks of your beautiful daughter,” Callaghan wrote of Gianna, who was 13 when she, her father and seven others died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, 2020, in Calabasas. “Her smile and attitude push me to be better. You have probably heard this, but if I ever become a mom, I hope my daughter turns out exactly as yours did.”


In the 12 months since the tragedy, Vanessa Bryant has used Instagram to help her through the grieving process, posting emotional tributes and sharing wonderful memories. The letter from Callaghan is an amazing addition to that collection.

“I hope that in the midst of your intense sadness you catch a glimpse of joy in who the daughter you created and raised was,” Callaghan wrote. “You did it right Mrs. Bryant, and we are all eternally grateful to you. I am so, so blessed I got to have time with your angel of a daughter, and thank you for giving me that chance. I love you and I’m thinking of you as we remember and honor her life.”

Kobe Bryant, daughter Gianna and seven others perished in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, 2020. Here’s our coverage on the one-year anniversary of the tragedy.

Jan. 24, 2021

Vanessa Bryant responded to Callaghan on Instagram: “I love you Aubz (as my Gigi would call you). Thank you so much for beautifully sharing some of your memories of my Gigi with me and allowing me to share them here on my ig. My Gigi is INCREDIBLE and I truly appreciate your thoughtful letter. She loves you so much.”

She added: “I miss my baby girl and Kob-Kob so much, too. I will never understand why/how this tragedy could’ve happened to such beautiful, kind and amazing human beings. It still doesn’t seem real. Kob, we did it right. Gigi, you still make mommy proud. I love you!”