Coping with personal tragedy is one of the most difficult obstacles we face in life. After losing a loved one, it can seem impossible to see the world in a normal perspective and even more difficult to find a way to continue growing in your own life. But these stars are examples of how it is possible to process, heal and move on from the sadness that effects our lives.
Six years ago, Hudson lost her mother, brother and young nephew when her eldest sister’s estranged husband shot them down in a fit of rage. Over time, Hudson summoned the strength to forgive their killer and also set up a charity foundation in her nephew’s name, the Julian D. King Gift Foundation. The charity provides support and positive experiences for children of varying backgrounds in order to enable them to grow into productive, confident and happy adults. In July last year, Hudson was honored at the Do Something Awards for her amazing work with the charity.
In 2009, Neeson lost his wife, actress Natasha Richardson, after she suffered a fatal skiing accident during their family’s vacation to Montreal. She remained on life support long enough for family members to say their goodbyes, after which Neeson allowed for the donation of her heart, kidneys and liver to those in need. Earlier this year, five years after the tragic event, the actor opened up about his loss in an interview with Anderson Cooper about the his continued daily struggle to find acceptance in his heartbreak.
At age 10, Winfrey began suffering frequent sexual abuse from family members. This led to a troubled teenage perspective and ultimately a pregnancy at age 14, the baby lost after birth. Despite all the severe trauma in her life, she remained an honor student, earned a scholarship for college and became the immensely successful woman so many look up to today. When her past was revealed by a relative in 1990, she felt relief that she no longer had to keep the secret and was able to let go of the lingering shame she felt.
At age 19, Phoenix accompanied his older brother, River, for a Halloween night out that ended in River’s drug overdose and untimely death. Joaquin was the one to make the emergency 911 call in an attempt to save his brother’s life, but it was too late. Joaquin then faced terrible media scrutiny while trying to deal with the tragic loss. He stepped back from acting and suffered from substance abuse for which he attended rehab in 2005. After a brief string of odd appearances in 2009 for his bizarre film I’m Still Here, he has returned to acting with a series of award nominated roles.
While still living with her family in South Africa, the Oscar winning actress witnessed her mother shoot and kill her abusive and alcoholic father in an act of self-defense when she was only 15 years old. The actress found strength and confidence from the embracing her mother’s protective instincts rather than allowing the disturbing event to derail her life.
The comedy legend lost his son in 1997 when he was murdered during an attempted robbery. His son was only 27 and was chaning a flat tire on the side of a Los Angeles highway when he was attacked. Cosby found support in his wife, he told NPR during an interview last year, but remains haunted by the terrible incident. However, he also remains a huge icon in the comedy industry and released his first stand-up special in 30 years last year, titled “Far From Finished.”
The actress struggled with fertility during her first marriage, an emotional difficulty that the media focused on and relentlessly prodded her about for years. In a recent interview with ABC, she opened up about how she never stopped trying for her family: adopting two children with ex-husband Tom Cruise, and with current husband Keith Urban gave birth to their eldest daughter in 2008 and welcomed their second daughter via surrogacy in 2010.
At age 18, a year after his parents’ divorce, Bird’s father committed suicide. The tragedy sparked Bird to focus on his college degree and basketball career, channeling his pain into a relentless practice regimen. His education remained just as important to him and he even made the Celtics wait a year while he finished his degree, rejecting their initial recruitment offer.
(via Huffington Post.)
When the world seems too difficult to handle, it’s comforting to find strength in those who have been able to rise again.
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