“Grief is a journey”: Regina King speaks out for the first time on son Ian’s death

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Oscar-winning actress Regina King is speaking out for the first time about her son’s death over two years ago.

King sat down with Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts for an exclusive interview and shared how her late son, Ian Alexander Jr., who died by suicide in January 2022 at the age of 26, is still an influence on her.

When asked what these last two years have been like for her, King said, “Grief is a journey.”

“I’m a different person, you know, now than I was Jan. 19,” the Academy Award winner told Roberts. “Grief is a journey, you know? I understand that grief is love that has no place to go.”

King said her late son struggled with his mental health.

“When it comes to depression, people expect it to look a certain way and they expect it to look heavy,” King told Roberts.

She said she respects and understands the choice her son ultimately made. “[H]e didn’t wanna be here anymore, that’s a hard thing for other people to receive because they did not live our experience, did not live Ian’s journey,” she explained.

As a mom, King said seeing Ian with his struggles still made her “so angry with God.”

“I was so angry with God. You know, why would that weight be given to Ian?” King said.

“With all of the things that we had gone through with the therapy, with psychiatrists and programs and Ian was like, ‘I’m tired of talking, Mom,'” she recalled.

Two years after her son’s death, King admits she still struggles with acceptance.

“When a parent loses a child, you still wonder, ‘What could I have done so that wouldn’t have happened?'” she said.

If you are in crisis or know someone in crisis, contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988, by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or by visiting 988lifeline.org. You can also contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

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