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Catherine Hickland’s tribute to Carrie Fisher & Debbie Reynolds is a necessary read

The shock over the back-to-back loss of Carrie Fisher and her mother, Debbie Reynolds, has started to wear off. For family members like Todd Fisher and his wife, Catherine Hickland, the grief has begun to set in on an even deeper level.

More: Carrie Fisher’s legacy goes well beyond Princess Leia

Hickland, a former star of ABC’s One Life to Live, shared the depths of her sadness in a frank blog post on her personal website. She talked about how their absence made her feel.

“My being hurts,” she wrote. “I’ve now been home for 5 days, the first three spent with my face planted in my pillow. My body finally fell apart. Three weeks of little to no sleep, incredible compounding stress, keeping emotions in check to get through what needed to be gotten through, all takes a toll.”

Her real-life admission that grief can knock you to your knees and affect you in ways you never imagined is so powerful. We’ve all been there before over the loss of a loved one — depression, lack of sleep and little interest in life around you.

More: Billie Lourd beautifully remembers Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds

Hickland’s words resonate with so many and she reminds us that we all go through this. It’s a comforting thought.

“A broken heart is a broken heart, and who hasn’t had one of those?” she said in her post. “We are all in this life together.”

Even with life feeling duller without Fisher and Reynolds, Hickland knew she had to get back to business, but it wasn’t easy.

“Participating in life is important. It was good for me to be in the world. It felt like forever that I was in the real world,” Hickland explained. “I spontaneously burst into tears in a store, in front of a very nice lady who was helping me. She didn’t mind. She understands. We all understand, even though there are, as so many people have written to me, ‘no words.’“

More: Some of us just never heal from grief

Even though words may not comfort the grieving, Hickland is discovering there is power in the written word. She is finding that writing is her salvation during this dark time.

Hickland shared with her fans that she knows she is going to be OK even though her life has shifted in a very dramatic way. She offered up some sage advice to others who are going through a hard time.

“Life is but a breath in the wind. Don’t waste it. Treasure it. Be grateful for it. Respect it. Live it. Be joyous in it, no matter what,” she summed up. “Let people know how you feel. Kiss people, Hug people. Give flowers to the living. Love does heal. Love is everything.”

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