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Regina King Opens Up About Life-Altering Grief After Son’s Death

HomeEntertainmentRegina King Opens Up About Life-Altering Grief After Son's Death

The actress speaks candidly about how losing her only child has changed her forever

Regina King is getting candid about the devastation of losing a child and the life-changing grief that follows. In a revealing interview with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America, the Oscar-winning actress spoke about how her world was upended two years ago when her beloved son Ian Alexander Jr. died by suicide at age 26.

“I’m a different person now than I was January 19th,” King, 53, told Roberts, referring to the date in 2022 when Ian took his own life. She was openly emotional as she reflected on her journey of bereavement since that tragic day.

“Grief is a journey,” King said, her voice thick with sorrow. “I understand that now.” The acclaimed actress, who won an Academy Award for If Beale Street Could Talk, has channeled her anguish into her powerful new film Shirley, which she has dedicated to Ian’s memory.

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In the two years since his passing, King has had to adapt to a new reality without her only child, the son she shared with her ex-husband Ian Alexander Sr. She described grief as “love that has no place to go” and said “we all handle it differently.”

One thing that has helped King cope is keeping Ian’s spirit alive through memories and symbolic tributes. On what would have been his 27th birthday last January, she posted a poignant Instagram message celebrating his “presence” even in his physical absence.

“His spirit is the thread that connects us,” she wrote, adding “I see you in everything I breathe.” Revealing their special bond, King called Ian her “guiding light” and described herself as “Regina the mother of Ian the GodKing.”

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The two even had matching tattoos featuring the fictional raised black power fist from the film Shuri, which King said represented their “unconditional love.”

While promoting Shirley, in which she portrays trailblazing politician Shirley Chisholm, King seems to summon incredible resilience and courage. But she admits the loss of her son rocked her to her core.

“Our family is devastated at the deepest level by the loss of Ian,” read the initial statement released after his death. “He is such a bright light who cared so deeply about the happiness of others.”

King is far from alone in her anguish over burying a child – it’s a pain no parent ever envisions and one of life’s cruelest blows. Yet by speaking out so openly, she offers a powerful voice to those going through similar tragedies.

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“Grief is isolating, and it can make you feel very alone,” said grief counselor Sarah Wilson. “But hearing someone like Regina King share her experience so vividly reminds us that while circumstances are different, the human experience of profound grief is universal.”

As King has learned firsthand, grief never fully disappears – but it can become interwoven into life’s journey, with good days and bad. Her vulnerability and candor provide a powerful message about the permanence of a parent’s love, even after devastating loss.

“I see Ian’s spirit kept alive through Regina’s resilience and openness about her mourning,” said Wilson. “That’s the greatest honor any mother could give the memory of her child.”

Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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