Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna were buried during a private funeral in southern California, according to multiple reports. Their funeral came on Friday, nearly two weeks after they and seven other people died in a helicopter crash while traveling on their way to a basketball game that Kobe was going to coach and Gianna was going to play in.
Extra claims to have gotten a copy of Kobe Bryant’s death certificate, which the entertainment website said indicated that the “funeral was held on February 7 at Pacific View Mortuary in Corona Del Mar, California.”
If the reports are right, Kobe and Gianna’s funeral came one day after it was announced that a public memorial for them and the other victims of the Jan. 26 helicopter crash would be held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 24.
Extra suggested that Kobe’s sister Sharia Washington may have attended, though it was not announced who was at the funeral. Washington and her sister Shaya Tabb shared with iOne Digital exclusive family photos and the first public statement from the family after the tragedy.
“We are devastated by the loss of our brother, son, our niece and granddaughter, and our hearts go out to all the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday,” the statement said in part. “Our lives are forever changed.”
Kobe’s funeral during Black History Month was especially significant considering his role in the Black community has been the topic of heavy scrutiny in his life as well as death, nevermind his undeniable historical impact on the game of basketball, and beyond.
The Staples Center was a fitting location for Kobe’s public memorial seeing that it became the site of one big makeshift public memorial once it was confirmed that he died in the helicopter crash. Hundreds of people left flowers, candles, teddy bears and notes of support outside of the arena for days.
The date of Feb. 24 was also meaningful as it was likely selected to match the retired jersey number that Bryant wore as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. Twenty-four was also the number of years that he called Los Angeles home after being drafted straight out of high school to the NBA in 1996.
Meanwhile, Kobe’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, has been grieving in private as well as in public by sharing touching family photos from her Instagram account.
Memorializing on social media has been seen as a form of grieving in recent years as the platforms have become increasingly popular in allowing an empathetic shift to occur, which creates somewhat of a safe space to express grief. In a study from Vice on the psychological effects of grieving on social media, the aforementioned medium serves as an additional outlet for those seeking support in coping with a loss by “connecting people with a community of peers that also knew the person and with whom they can share memories. This connection, research suggests, could help reduce the anguish people often feel after a loss.”