Planning Continues for Kobe Memorial; Private Funeral Held Last Week

AP 

Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.

LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Planning is continuing for a public memorial service to honor Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, while the release of death certificates for the pair indicated they were laid to rest in a private funeral held on Feb. 7.

According to the death certificates obtained by various media outlets, the private funeral was held in Corona del Mar. No other details were released.

A public memorial service is scheduled for Feb. 24 at Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. Lee Zeidman, president of the facility, told NBC4 during an event in Inglewood Tuesday that planning for the event is continuing.

But he stressed that the service will not be broadcast on screens outside Staples Center — in other words, if you don’t have a ticket, don’t go to the venue expecting to watch it outdoors.

Security is likely to be tight around Staples Center, with streets surrounding the venue likely to be closed in an effort to prevent crowds from gathering in the area. No details have yet been released about the availability of tickets.

Kobe Bryant, 41, his daughter and seven others were killed Jan. 26 when the helicopter they were in crashed into a hillside in Calabasas. The group was traveling from Orange County to Thousand Oaks for a basketball game at Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy.

Bryant’s widow Vanessa, took to Instagram Monday, saying she is struggling to cope with the deaths of her husband and daughter.

“I’ve been reluctant to put my feelings into words,’’ she wrote. “My brain refuses to accept that both Kobe and Gigi are gone. I can’t process both at the same time. It’s like I’m trying to process Kobe being gone but my body refuses to accept my Gigi will never come back to me.

“It feels wrong. Why should I be able to wake up another day when my baby girl isn’t being able to have that opportunity?! I’m so mad. She had so much life to live. Then I realize I need to be strong and be here for my 3 daughters. Mad I’m not with Kobe and Gigi but thankful I’m here with Natalia, Bianka and Capri.

“I know what I’m feeling is normal. It’s part of the grieving process. I just wanted to share in case there’s anyone out there that’s experienced a loss like this. God I wish they were here and this nightmare would be over. Praying for all of the victims of this horrible tragedy. Please continue to pray for all.”

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