Kobe Bryant's Eldest Daughter, Natalia, Turns 18, Marking 1st Birthday Since Her Dad and Sister Were Killed

Natalia Bryant, the eldest daughter of basketball star Kobe Bryant, turns 18 on first birthday since her dad and sister were killed in a helicopter crash.

Kobe Bryant's eldest daughter became a legal adult on Tuesday, her first birthday since a helicopter crash took the lives of her father and little sister.

Mom Vanessa Bryant praised her girl's 18th birthday with a series of photos featuring Bryant and Natalia at varying points in her young life.

“Daddy’s little princess, Natalia. #18 #BirthdayGirl,” the former model wrote. “We love you so much! Happy birthday Natalia!!!! Our first born @nataliabryant."

Natalia’s birthday occurred a week before the first anniversary of the Jan. 26 helicopter crash that killed the basketball star and daughter Gianna. Seven others also died after the helicopter plummeted in a rural area of Los Angeles County. The group was en route to a basketball game in which Gianna, and a friend onboard, were scheduled to play.

Vanessa, who's also the mother of daughters Bianka, 4, and Capri, 1, shared recent photos of Natalia as well, and thanked her for being a role model to her younger siblings.

"Dear Natalia, Happy Birthday! Mommy and Daddy are so proud of the young lady that you are," the mother wrote. "You have displayed so much strength and grace throughout the most difficult year of our lives. Thank you for stepping in to help me with your little sisters." 

Last week, the widow posted words of encouragement on social media to those burdened by loss.

"Grief is a messed up cluster of emotions," she wrote. "One day you're in the moment laughing and the next day you don't feel like being alive. I want to say this for people struggling with grief and heartbreaking loss. Find your reason to live. I know it's hard."

Her daughters, she said, give her reason to believe in living a full life.

"I look at my daughters and I try to push through that feeling for them. Death is guaranteed but living the rest of the day isn't," she concluded. "Find your reason."