Michael Strahan is still working through his grief after the death of his father, Gene Strahan, in early September. Everyone copes with the loss of a loved one differently, and the GMA co-host shared that he’s been coping with his feelings from a positive angle. He saved messages, texts and emails from friends and co-workers, who reached out to express their sympathies, but he also responded to their kindness immediately. Strahan wanted to give them an authentic response to their thoughtfulness.
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It’s been a little over a week since I lost my hero and it’s still hard to believe my dad is no longer with us physically but I know his spirit lives on thru me and the rest of the family. The biggest goal in everything I’ve ever done was to make him proud. Knowing that I did that gives me peace but also pushes me to continue because I know he’s watching from above. Nobody is perfect but he was perfect for me and I’m so grateful that he was my dad. Without him I’m not sure where I’d be but I know I wouldn’t have anything close to the life I have now. Love you Dad and I’m honored to be your son!! Take time to hug your parents, spouse and kids. Let them know how you feel and don’t take it for granted that they automatically know that you love them.
“It’s been a little over a week since I lost my hero,” Strahan wrote on Instagram following his dad’s death. “It’s still hard to believe my dad is no longer with us physically but I know his spirit lives on thru me and the rest of the family. The biggest goal in everything I’ve ever done was to make him proud. Knowing that I did that gives me peace but also pushes me to continue because I know he’s watching from above.”
The 48-year-old TV personality has been very vocal about his grief and told Dr. Oz he’s kept emails and texts from friends and family expressing their condolences. “I kept everything,” Strahan said sharing he also responded to the loving messages straight away. “I’m getting their real emotion at that time, and I wanted them to get my real emotion at that time as well,” he continued.
“It was great because it brought smiles to my face to see these people think of my father and my family, and it made me think of some great things with my dad.”
And as a dad himself to four kids, Tanita, 28, Michael Jr., 25, and twins Sophia and Isabella, 16, he’s passing down important life lessons from his own father, whom he considered his role model.
“My father is the most influential person in my career in [terms of] attitude—the understanding that nobody gives you anything in life, you have to earn it,” Strahan said to Parade in 2014. He admired his dad for achieving his goal of graduating from college and becoming an Army officer while raising five kids with another on the way. It was through his dad’s more-than-gentle push that Strahan moved from Germany to Houston to live with his uncle and play high school football. That move paved the way for his successful NFL career.
“My dad was always about when you’re going to do something, not if,” Strahan revealed. “I believe in my kids 100 percent. When you have confidence in them, they have confidence in themselves.” And Strahan looks to be instilling those same values in his family.
Before you go, click here to see all the celebrities who have opened up about their depression.