The death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna "Gigi" Bryant continues to have a profound impact on his fans, but nowhere near the extent of that felt by his surviving family. With today marking Vanessa Bryant's 38th birthday, which would have been a celebratory occasion under different circumstances, many have taken to her Instagram page with support, cheer, and love. As it happens, Vanessa took the opportunity to pen a heartbreaking message, sharing a letter that Kobe had written her prior to his untimely passing.

Kobe Bryant Vanessa Bryant

 Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

"Yesterday I found an envelope labeled To: The Love of my Life. From, Tu Papi," she writes. "I waited to open one more letter on my birthday. It gave me something to look forward to today. The irony is that Kobe had a photo of me drawn with an Angel holding me up by an artist on the cover. Missing the Love of my Life and my sweet little Mamacita- my fellow Taurus. Grateful to wake up to my 3 sweet girls today. Wish we were all together."

We can only imagine what Vanessa and her daughters must be going through today, and hope that she is able to find some semblance of peace during this difficult time. Rest in peace to Kobe Bryant and Gigi Bryant, and a very happy birthday to Vanessa Bryant!