Celebrities Speaking Up About Grief: Volume 10

Books, Movies, and Music / Books, Movies, and Music : Litsa Williams



If you’ve been on our site more than a few times, you probably know we love celebrities who talk about grief.  In a society where grief hides in the shadows, we love when someone drags it into the spotlight. It reminds us we are not alone. It reminds us that grief touches everyone, that we all have a story. As Edward Hirsch says, “Look around and you will see almost everyone carrying bags of cement on their shoulders. That’s why it takes courage to get out of bed in the morning and climb into the day”.  That includes the greatest writers, scientists, politicians and the faces on the cover of tabloids and on the top of the charts. Not all of them have the courage or the interest or the strength to speak out… but we sure do love it when they do!  If you are new to this series, check out our past Celebrities Speaking Up About Grief posts.

Mariska Hargitay

Apparently I have been living under a rock and had no idea that Mariska Haritay is Jayne Mansfield’s daughter. Considering I have a deep love for Law & Order SVU, I am not sure how I missed that interesting celebrity fact. Now, I loved Mariska already (that’s right, I like to pretend we are on a first-name basis), but I loved her even more after hearing her talk about the impact of her mother’s death on her life on Inside the Actors Studio.

Edward Hirsch

We talk a lot around here about grieving an overdose death. Someone has to talk about it, not many people want to, so might as well be us, right? Better yet, might as well be Edward Hirsch. Hirsch is an incredible poet who lost his 22-year-old son to an overdose. He has created an elegy to his son – trying to capture his son’s wild spirit – that makes us jealous we aren’t amazing poets.

Billy Bob Thornton

When you think of tough-guys in Hollywood, guys who may not want to open up about feelings, Billy Bob Thornton is probably somewhere on your list. Leave it to Oprah to open up even a tough guy like Billy Bob about the loss of his brother in 1988, a loss he feels strongly to this day.  He says the words so many grievers have thought and felt: You won’t ever get over it… You keep honoring those people forever… Those are the things that keep those people alive.  

Liam Neeson

Thanks to one of our fabulous readers for sharing this link with us! Many of us followed the tragic story of Natasha Richardson’s death in a skiing accident, but much time passed before her husband, Liam Neeson, opened up about his grief. He spoke with Anderson Cooper, who is no stranger to grief himself. Sadly, this video hates me and won’t embed in the post properly, but you can head over to the 60 Minutes website to check it out (He begins talking about Natasha Richardson and his grief at around minute 6:30 through the end of the video).

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