Some days simply feel sadder than most, and today is one of them. Today, Paul Walker would have been 47 years old. Kelly Preston would be celebrating 28 years of marriage to John Travolta. But, tragically, both Walker and Preston’s lives were cut far too short — and more tragic still, both left behind children who had to deal with the heartache of losing a parent far too soon.
It’s truly gutting to think about how the person’s surviving children must feel. Can you imagine what it must be like for the children of celebrities who lost their lives unexpectedly? The shock and grief we, as fans feel, is magnified exponentially… and they have to go through it in the public eye. One of the most memorable images from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy is that of his then-three-year-old son, John Jr., saluting his father’s flag-draped casket. Big sister Caroline was just shy of six at the time.
As we send our prayers to all families suffering the grief of a lost parent, let’s take a moment to remember all of the celebrity parents who left too soon — and send some love and light into the universe for their children.
A version of this article was originally published in September 2020.