I got the call around 8:30 this morning, March 6, that my mother had died peacefully in her sleep. It was how she wanted to go. Fifteen minutes later I was in my car driving to her house and people began calling me, expressing their condolences, which was strange because I knew we hadn’t put out an official statement yet. Somehow, TMZ had gotten the news and had sent it out — none of us know how and we probably never will. It comes with the reality of living and dying in the public eye. It’s a strange dance, but one I’m familiar with.
My mother had been in poor health for quite a while, and recently had gotten markedly worse, so this wasn’t a surprise. That said, death always feels like a surprise. I appreciate the attention and prayers of people I will probably never meet. Just as when my father died, there is comfort in feeling surrounded by gentle thoughts and kind wishes, often sent out by strangers. And just as when my father died, we will honor my mother publicly — stand on the public stage and share as much as we can. Then, when that is completed, we’ll draw the circle in a little tighter and deal with the often complicated map of personal loss.
I wish I could thank individually everyone who has sent out messages on social media. I can’t, so I’m hoping they will read this and know how grateful I am.