Grief comes to everyone. Sooner or later, every person will experience the death of someone they love. Fortune and fame can buy many things, but they cannot exempt a person from loss. Here’s the way some celebrities have expressed their experience with the death of a loved one.
Ryan O’Neal on his partner, Farah Fawcett—“I hear her voice, I see her silhouette. I miss her cooking. I haven’t had a good meal since she left me. It’s harder than I thought.”
Liam Neeson on his wife, Natasha Richardson—“It hits you. It’s like a wave. You just get this profound feeling of instability. The earth isn’t stable anymore; and then it passes and it becomes more infrequent, but I still get it sometimes.”
Mary Tyler Moore on her son, Richard, on scattering her son’s ashes—“It was a sunny day. The water was clear and high as I knelt over it. I opened the container and emptied it into the rushing water. What was meant to be a prayer became an outraged demand: ‘You take care of him,’ I screamed at the sky.”
Jennifer Hudson on losing her mother, brother and nephew within 12 months—“It’s frustrating to have somebody who ain’t lost nothing try to talk to me about it. I want to say, ‘Don’t even bother, because you know nothing.’ But you never know how much you can get through until you’re going through it.”
Queen Latifah on her brother, Lancelot—“If the person who you lost loved you like you loved them, there’s no way they would not want you to live your life to the maximum, to appreciate it, to go for your dreams, go for your goals.”
Sylvester Stallone on his son, Sage—“I think it’s important to get back and start reliving your life. Otherwise, you can go into a spiral.”
Joe Biden on the death of his first wife, Neilia, and 13 month daughter, Naomi, in an auto accident—“Folks, it can and will get better. There will come a day…when the thought of your son or daughter, or your husband or wife, brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye. It will happen.”
Keanu Reeves on his girlfriend, Jessica, and their still born daughter—“I miss being a part of their lives and them being a part of mine. I wonder what the present would be like if they were here—what we might have done together. I miss all the great things that will never be.”
Katie Couric on her husband, Jay—“Talk about [the loved one who has died]. Tell the children how proud that person would be of them. Be as honest as you can with your children. Listen and talk to them about their fears and concerns.”
Billy Bob Thornton on his brother, Jimmy—“I’ve never been the same since my brother died. There’s a melancholy in me that never goes away. I’m 50 percent happy and 50 percent sad at any given moment; and the only advice I can give people when you lose someone like that is you won’t ever get over it, and the more you know that and embrace it, the better off you’ll be.”
Prince Harry on his mother, Dianna—“I still feel, 20 years later, about my mother; I still have shock within me… People say shock can’t last that long, but it does. You never get over it. It’s such an unbelievably big moment in your life that it never leaves you; you just learn to deal with it.”
Kelsey Grammer on the murder of his sister, Karen, when asked, “Do you ever get over it?” said: “No. But you put it in context of your life. I’ve tried since to… just cherish this presence in my life that is still my sister, that is still around.”
Lea Michele on her boyfriend, Cory—“I think at a certain point you can choose to sort of fall from this, or you can choose to rise. And that’s what I’m just trying to do.”
Victor M. Parachin, M. Div., is a bereavement educator and grief counselor.
He is the author of numerous books about grief including
The Lord Is My Shepherd:
A Psalm For The Grieving and Healing Grief.