On Aug. 23, Vanessa commemorated his special day by sharing a throwback picture of herself hugging the late Los Angeles Lakers star after his team won the 2009 NBA Championship.
"Happy birthday, baby!" she captioned the Instagram post. "I love you and miss you so much! #44."
In the comments section of Vanessa's post, Kobe received birthday wishes from several stars, including singer Monica, who wrote, "Happy Birthday Kobe," and supermodel Naomi Campbell, who commented several red heart and cake emojis.
Former WNBA star Lisa Leslie wrote, "Happy Birthday King Kobe," while Khloe Kardashian sent her support to Vanessa, writing, "Happy birthday. I love you V!!!"
It's been more than two years since Kobe, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash while traveling to a basketball tournament at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Since then, Vanessa has been working to keep Kobe's memory alive for their other three daughters—Natalia, 19, Bianka, 5, and Capri, 3
Last month, she took the girls to visit the city in Italy Kobe grew up in while his dad played basketball. "Visited Reggio Calabria," Vanessa captioned a July 18 carousel of Instagram pictures from the trip, "a city my husband lived in when he was about 8 years old."
In one of the photos, Bianka and Capri posed together in the street while wearing pink and white dresses. Vanessa also shared some scenery in the other pics, including images of the coastal city's waterfront and buildings.
Though the mom of four is working to keep a normal life for her girls, she is also dealing with the aftermath of her husband and daughter's deaths in her trial against Los Angeles County, which she is suing after several of its sheriff's deputies and firefighters shared unauthorized photos from the deadly helicopter crash.
Vanessa is seeking damages for emotional distress over the unsanctioned pictures; however, Los Angeles County argues that her lawsuit is without legal merit, according to the Aug. 3 defendants' trial brief obtained by E! News.
While taking the stand on Aug. 19, Vanessa said she now lives in fear every day because she never wants her daughters to see the gruesome photos. "All you want to do," she shared, "is protect your babies."