Emma Heming shared how she’s been coping following the announcement of her husband Bruce Willis‘s recent aphasia diagnosis in honor of National Grief Awareness Day.
The model posted a video montage to her Instagram account on Tuesday night showing everything she and her family have been doing over the last three months set to the soundtrack of “I Say A Little Prayer” by Aretha Franklin. “This was the summer of self discovery—finding new hobbies, going out of my comfort zone and staying active,” she wrote in the caption. “My grief can be paralyzing but I’m learning how to live along side it. As my step-daughter [Scout Willis] told me, grief is the deepest and purest form of love. I hope you find some comfort in that too.” She finished off the caption with a revolving heart emoji and the hashtags, “#nationalgriefawarenessday #griefawareness #liveitup.”
Heming’s messages comes five months after her family announced Willis’s diagnosis and retirement from acting via an Instagram post first shared on his daughter Rumer Willis‘s account. They wrote at the time, “To Bruce’s amazing supporters, as a family we wanted to share that our beloved Bruce has been experiencing some health issues and has recently been diagnosed with aphasia, which is impacting his cognitive abilities. As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him.” The message went on to say that, “This is a really challenging time for our family and we are so appreciative of your continued love, compassion and support. We are moving through this as a strong family unit, and wanted to bring his fans in because we know how much he means to you, as you do to him.” They concluded by adding, “As Bruce always says, ‘Live it up’ and together we plan to do just that.”
Aphasia is a language disorder caused by damage sustained to the area of the brain that controls language expression and comprehension, often due to events such as a stroke or head trauma. It leaves the sufferer unable to communicate or effectively use language. They can also sometimes have difficulty understanding others’ speech as well.
Following the diagnosis, a source told People that, for now, Willis and his big, blended family just want to treasure every moment they have together. “Emma is especially grateful for the daughters she shares with Bruce,” they said, noting that the family celebrated daughter Mabel’s tenth birthday two days after announcing this sudden retirement. “Everyone is focused on all the happy moments they are able to share,” they added. Another source close to the actor explained that his family is focused on “doing whatever they can [to support him],” and, “They have rallied around him in a big way to help Bruce cope with what is to come.” While a source close to Emma concluded, “As someone facing health challenges, Bruce couldn’t be part of a better family. It’s been shocking. And it’s not easy seeing a spouse decline. But she’s trying to keep it together for him.”