Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Vanessa Bryant, making her first public comments since the death of her husband, Kobe, and 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, thanked the millions of fans who have expressed their support during what she called a "horrific" time.
In the Instagram post, Bryant also mentioned the other families impacted by Sunday's helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif. She announced the formation of a fund to help support the other families that were affected.
"There aren't enough words to describe our pain right now," Bryant wrote on social media. "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."
Kobe Bryant, 41, and Gianna were among nine killed in the helicopter crash. The group was headed to Mamba Sports Academy, a facility that Bryant created and coached at, for a girls basketball game when their helicopter crashed under unknown circumstances.
The crash remains under investigation. There were no survivors.
Kobe and Vanessa Bryant married in 2001 and had four daughters together. The couple's oldest, Natalia, is 17, and their youngest, Capri, is seven months old. They also have a 3-year-old, Bianka.
Kobe Bryant, a two-time NBA Finals MVP, retired from the league in 2016 after winning five NBA championships and one Most Valuable Player Award (2008) with the Los Angeles Lakers.