A Letter to Vanessa Bryant — From One Sudden Widow to Another

Talk about them.

You will need to talk about them a lot. Cling to friends who are willing to hear the same stories again and again…until you’re ready to stop telling them. My daughter shared a memory of her father with a friend who told her, “You’ve told me that before.” I gently pulled the friend aside and told her that she’s really the only one my daughter was talking to about her dad. Your children may need to tell the same stories more than once. It’s part of saying goodbye.

The pain will subside…I promise.

Kobe and Gigi’s absence will lurk in every word, every song, every thought….every single day. You will cry in the strangest places. I sobbed while buying new tires, while watching my kids play, while waiting for coffee. You will cry a lot. And that’s from someone who didn’t cry much before.

While you won’t hurt as much as you do now, you may find as I did that there’s comfort in the hurting. Somehow the grief seems to draw us nearer to our loved ones. And the day you realize that your cloud of grief is somehow lifting may bring another kind of grief. You realize that as much as you want to stop hurting, the sadness continues to bond you to your husband and daughter. And you’re afraid to move away by getting better. But get better you must.

Your loss will never be over.

You will grieve the loss of future anniversaries. You will grieve his absence at your children’s weddings and the birth of their children. You will grieve at small times that Kobe and Gigi would’ve been there and big times that their absence is glaring. You will grieve throughout the rest of your life, but the pain will subside. That’s God’s grace to us.

Grow deeper with God.

And, finally, if you’re a woman of faith, you already know the goodness and grace of our loving God who is walking through the valley of the shadow of death with you. You already know the peace that passes understanding, because you know there is no reason on earth that you have this much peace with so much loss. And for that, I’m very grateful for you. It is only by God’s grace and mercy that the human spirit can survive such loss. 

You have had unimaginable loss, and you will feel like you will never survive it. You will wonder how you can make it through one more day. You will stare into a future void of Kobe and Gigi… and you will shudder.

But you will get better. You will always miss them, but you won’t always hurt like you do now. You will always long for your husband, but you won’t always ache. 

You will get better, because get better you must.


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Christine Yount Jones
Christine Yount Jones
Christine Yount Jones is Content Director for Outreach Media Group. She has published several books and hundreds of articles about ministry in the last three decades. Before his death in 2003, Michael Yount and Christine had three children. Now, she and her husband, Ray Jones, together have five grown kids.

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