Vanessa Bryant’s Tearful Speech at Kobe Bryant and Daughter Gianna’s Memorial

Vanessa Bryant spoke beautifully at the public memorial honoring her late husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna.

The event was at Los Angeles’ Staples Center yesterday, nearly a month after they lost their lives in a helicopter crash.

Vanessa began her 20-minute eulogy with remembrances of Gianna, 13.

“She knew how much her morning and evening kisses meant to me,” she said. “She was so thoughtful to remember to kiss me every day. She was Daddy’s girl, but I know she loved her mama, and she would always show me and tell me how much she loved me. She was one of my very best friends.”

Vanessa added, “Gianna had a sweet grace about her. Her smile was like sunshine. Her smile took up her entire face, like mine. Kobe always said she was me. She had my fire, my personality and sarcasm, but she was tender and loving on the inside. She had the best laugh. It was infectious. It was pure and genuine. … Gianna made us all proud, and she still does.”

She went on: “I miss her sweet kisses, I miss her cleverness, I miss her sarcasm, her wit and that adorable sly side smile followed with a grin and a burst of laughter. We shared the same ‘cat that ate the canary’ grin. Gigi was sunshine. She brightened my day every day.”

Vanessa then segued to a tribute to her “soulmate,” Kobe.

“Kobe was known as a fierce competitor on the basketball court, the greatest of all time, a writer, an Oscar winner and the Black Mamba; but to me, he was KoKo, my boo-boo … my papi chulo,” she said of Kobe. “He was my sweet husband and the beautiful father of our children. He was my everything. Kobe and I have been together since I was 17-and-a-half years old. I was his first girlfriend, his first love, his wife, his best friend, his confidant and his protector.”

She continued: “He was the most amazing husband. Kobe loved me more than I could ever express or put into words. He was the early bird, and I was the night owl. He was fire, and I was ice, or vice versa at times. We balanced each other out. He would do anything for me. I have no idea how I deserved a man who loved and wanted me more than Kobe.”

Watch the full eulogy below: