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Vanessa Bryant shares heartfelt tribute to late husband Kobe Bryant on his 43rd birthday

Vanessa Bryant shares heartfelt tribute to late husband Kobe Bryant on his 43rd birthday: ‘Love you forever’

She’ll never forget the man of her dreams.

And Vanessa Bryant shared an emotional tribute to her late husband Kobe Bryant on what would have been his 43rd birthday.

The 39-year-old philanthropist called Kobe her ‘eternal love’ with a throwback snap which appeared to be from the 2000 NBA Finals when the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Indiana Pacers, the first Lakers championship in 12 years.

True love: Vanessa Bryant shared an emotional tribute to her late husband Kobe Bryant on what would have been his 43rd birthday

‘Happy birthday, Papi,’ she captioned the image of Kobe dipping her down for a kiss. ‘Te Amo por siempre. Amor Eterno.’

Vanessa and Kobe were married for two decades after first meeting on the set of Tha Eastsidaz music video ‘G’d up’ in November 1999 when she was a senior in high school. 

Her best friend, Ciara, also honored the late basketball legend with a photo of Kobe in celebration mode, and tagged their eldest daughter Natalia.  

Memories: Her best friend, Ciara, also honored the late basketball legend with a photo of Kobe in celebration mode, and tagged their eldest daughter Natalia

Memories: Her best friend, Ciara, also honored the late basketball legend with a photo of Kobe in celebration mode, and tagged their eldest daughter Natalia

Growing up: Vanessa and Kobe were married for two decades after first meeting on the set of Tha Eastsidaz music video 'G'd up' in November 1999 when she was a senior in high school; seen in June

Growing up: Vanessa and Kobe were married for two decades after first meeting on the set of Tha Eastsidaz music video ‘G’d up’ in November 1999 when she was a senior in high school; seen in June

‘Happy Birthday @kobebryant,’ she wrote. ‘Celebrating You every day! Grateful for the inspiration you continually give us, and how you Love Your Queens! Forever in our hearts.’  

Vanessa will celebrate the upcoming release of Kobe’s latest novel on Tuesday, Aug. 24, also known as National Kobe Bryant Day.

Legacy and the Double is the second book in the Legacy series and was created by Bryant and written by former professional squash player, Annie Matthew.  

Tragic: Vanessa spoke to PEOPLE in March about moving forward less than two years after the helicopter crash that killed her husband and their 13-year-old daughter Gianna; seen in 2018

Tragic: Vanessa spoke to PEOPLE in March about moving forward less than two years after the helicopter crash that killed her husband and their 13-year-old daughter Gianna; seen in 2018

‘I’m so proud we [Granity Studios] were able to have Legacy and the Double come out,’ Vanessa told PEOPLE. ‘These books filled with valuable lessons and stories were really important to my husband. He felt it was important to teach kids lessons about life and emotions through the art of storytelling.’

Vanessa spoke to PEOPLE in March about moving forward less than two years after the helicopter crash that killed her husband and their 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and also claimed the lives of pilot Ara Zobayan, 50, Alyssa Altobelli, 14, Keri Altobelli, 46, John Altobelli, 56, Payton Chester, 13, Sarah Chester, 46, and Christina Mauser, 38.

‘This pain is unimaginable [but] you just have to get up and push forward,’ she told the outlet. ‘Lying in bed crying isn’t going to change the fact that my family will never be the same again.

‘But getting out of bed and pushing forward is going to make the day better for my girls and for me. So that’s what I do.’

Good reads: Legacy and the Double is the second book in the Legacy series and was created by Bryant and written by former professional squash player, Annie Matthew

Good reads: Legacy and the Double is the second book in the Legacy series and was created by Bryant and written by former professional squash player, Annie Matthew

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