Dear Vanessa,

I’m writing to you because you have been heavy on heart today.

You have been heavy on my heart and soul all week.

I know that I don’t know you and that you don’t know me. I don’t know your sweet family personally – I’ve only watched from afar as you’ve graciously shared pieces of your life with the world.

And now, just as you’ve shared your victories and triumphs publicly, now your greatest tragedy is also on display for all to see.

I cannot imagine the pain and loss that you are feeling at all – and then for it to be so publicly known – I cannot bare to picture it.

I believe that God uses others to offer us His sweet comfort in times of despair and tragedy. I believe that He is with us even when we don’t want Him to be. He draws near to the broken-hearted and hears the cries of the hurting.

Your life has been forever changed. This moment in history will forever be remembered. While the world got up on Monday, January 27th and had “just another Monday,” you had to wake up for the first time as a widow. The pain you must have felt – the aching you must be feeling – I am so incredibly sorry for your loss.

Life isn’t fair. This isn’t fair. You are so unbelievably strong, Vanessa. I am praying for you – that God will grant you moments of intense peace, that He would comfort you through others. I’m praying that He would grant you the strength to work through this pain instead of numbing it in a way that hurts you even more. I am praying for laughter – even if just for a moment – in your day today. A moment to experience joy amidst all the pain that circles the air.

You are not alone, though it may feel lonely today. You will never be the same.

Know that no one can tell you how to grieve. Every human grieves in their own unique way. No one is allowed to tell you how to feel or how to live today or any day in the future.

You are a phenomenal mother that is surrounded by a community that loves you and adored your husband and daughter. Yet our love for them does not even begin to compare to the love of a mother and a wife. May you feel God’s presence during this horrific time – and may the warm embrace of the sports community be felt around you and your girls for many years to come.

Praying for you – strong, kind, and beautiful Vanessa.


Caitlyn Sabdo

In Honor Of Kobe Bryant And Gianna Bryant

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