The Strength of Vanessa Bryant
Sometimes, it takes the worst and most painful moments to see the true measure and breadth of a person’s strength. Yesterday, the memorial service for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, was held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Many beautiful eulogies were given, some jokes were even told, as it was a celebration of life, rather than a time to mourn. However, even though Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe’s most famous teammate, and Michael Jordan, the NBA’s greatest player and the person who Kobe Bryant most closely emulated, both gave eulogies, neither of them “stole the show,” for lack of a better phrase.
It’s impossible to be a “show-stopper” at a memorial service, but if it was possible, then that role was played by Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s wife and Gianna’s mother. Shannon Sharpe spoke on FS1’s Undisputed about how he was mesmerized by the intestinal fortitude Bryant showed in delivering a eulogy at her own husband and daughter’s memorial service. He said, “her strength was on full display.” And it certainly was.
While everyone in attendance cried, even those who never met Kobe or Gianna, Vanessa somehow managed to stand strong in the spotlight and give her speech. Obviously, she got choked up more than a few times, and who wouldn’t, but she endured, speaking eloquently about the little ways she and Kobe and Gianna loved each other.
Obviously, the pain she has endured over the past 28 days is unimaginable, and there likely hasn’t been a day where she hasn’t cried. But during that memorial service, she let everyone else do the crying, while she stood tall at the podium, honoring her great husband and their precious daughter.