“Today is one of those days of feeling the grief and sadness,” Emma Heming Willis said in an Instagram post on Sunday.
It was the 68th birthday of her husband and beloved actor Bruce Willis, just one month after the larger-than-life action hero was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia.
“Today is my husband’s birthday. I have started the morning by crying, as you can see by my swollen eyes and snotty nose,” she continued. “I just think it’s important that you see all sides of this.”
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Emma went on to say that she receives many messages telling her how strong she is and asking her how she manages to handle the crushing effects of her husband’s diagnosis.
“I’m not given a choice,” she said. “I wish I was, but I’m also raising two kids in this, so sometimes in our lives, we have to put our big girl panties on and get to it.”
“I do have times of sadness, every day. Grief, every day,” she said. “And I’m really feeling it today on his birthday.”
Her emotions got the better of her, the 44-year-old model shared, as she was editing a video she intended to post for her husband’s birthday.
“I don’t know why I do that to myself because the videos are like a knife in my heart,” she told her nearly 725,000 followers. “But as much as I do it for myself, I do it for you, because I know how much you love my husband and it means so much to me, so thank you.”
As she spoke, she told herself, “Don’t cry, Emma.”
As American Wire News reported, Bruce Willis was initially diagnosed with aphasia, a condition that affects one’s ability to communicate, a year ago.
Willis’s family issued a heart-wrenching joint message announcing that the actor would be “stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him.”
Questions swirl around Bruce Willis’s serious career-ending diagnosis: What is aphasia? https://t.co/8XPlfI9Cxo
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) March 31, 2022
On February 16, the Willis family issued another sad statement:
Since we announced Bruce’s diagnosis of aphasia in spring 2022, Bruce’s condition has progressed and we now have a more specific diagnosis: frontotemporal dementia (known as FTD). Unfortunately, challenges with communication are just one symptom of the disease Bruce faces. While this is painful, it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis.
FTD is a cruel disease that many of us have never heard of and can strike anyone. For people under 60, FTD is the most common form of dementia, and because getting the diagnosis can take years, FTD is likely much more prevalent than we know. Today there are no treatments for the disease, a reality that we hope can change in the years ahead. As Bruce’s condition advances, we hope that any media attention can be focused on shining a light on this disease that needs far more awareness and research.
On Sunday, a second Instagram post from Emma showed a montage of family videos set to Stevie Wonder’s song “As.”
“My birthday wish for Bruce is that you continue to keep him in your prayers and highest vibrations because his sensitive Pisces soul will feel it,” his devoted wife wrote. “Thank you so much for loving and caring for him too.”
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Scout LaRue Willis, Bruce’s 31-year-old daughter with actress Demi Moore, shared a picture of her as a little girl, resting her sleepy head on Bruce’s as she sat atop his shoulders.
“It’s his birthday so send all of your love, tenderness, care and prayer his way for a moment,” she urged her followers.
She described Willis as, “the Pisces king, the master of duality, both action hero icon and gentle girl dad.”
“What a privilege to have this man as my father and learn so much about life, joy, mischief and art through him,” she wrote.
“Today is not necessarily an easy day, because it’s a day full of so deep love, and our grief really does show us the depth of our loving for someone. So I’m trying to be with both today,” she continued. “Grief is a price I’ll always pay to know what it is to feel such love.”
Demi Moore shared a video of the family singing Happy Birthday to the iconic actor:
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“[H]appy birthday to my numero uno Bruno!!” Scout’s sister, 29-year-old Tallulah wrote, posting a throwback shot of Bruce, adding, “feeling awash with all the good energies and love headed this Willis way! I love him and he loves me – what a delight!”
“Bruce always believed in using his voice in the world to help others, and to raise awareness about important issues both publicly and privately,” the family wrote in February. “We know in our hearts that – if he could today — he would want to respond by bringing global attention and a connectedness with those who are also dealing with this debilitating disease and how it impacts so many individuals and their families.”
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