[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
Allison Holker is opening up about her late husband Stephen “tWitch” Boss‘ death for the first time.
As you know, the iconic dancer and Ellen Degeneres Show star was found dead by suicide in his hotel room last December. The news shook not only his family, but the entire world, as he was truly a light to so many people. Now, while speaking with People in an interview that was published Tuesday, his wife Allison is ready to tell the story.
The 35-year-old dancer remembered her husband fondly, saying of their relationship:
“Stephen would hold my back every time I walked past him. We’d have so many random conversations, and there was so much laughter. Our love was so real and so loud. We always told people our house was like a choreographed dance.”
Regarding tWitch’s mental health, the So You Think You Can Dance alum said no one really knew what he was going through:
“No one had any inkling that he was low. He didn’t want people to know. He just wanted to be everyone’s Superman and protector. It’s been really hard because I can’t understand what was happening in that moment [he died].”
She added she’s struggling to rebuild her family and the “beautiful” life she and the DJ built together because she didn’t know how bad he was doing. She said her feelings are “complex” and are a mix of sorrow, disappointment, love, and anger — but she’s not giving up. She wants to make a difference in remembrance of Stephen:
“Stephen brought so much joy to this world, and he deserves to be remembered as the beautiful man he was … We always hear, ‘Reach out to the strongest people,’ and I believe in that. But I also want the messaging to be that if you’re feeling low or depressed, it’s okay to lean on someone else. Trust that people are still going to see you as that light even in your darkest moments.”
Allison admits to losing her sense of purpose after his death — but now she’s working on getting it back with some help from her close friends:
“If I’m honest, when this happened I was really confused with what my new purpose was going to be. Then I actually spoke to my friend, Andy Grammer, and I expressed to him, ‘How am I going to still live out what I know is my purpose — love and joy — and has always been my family’s purpose?’ He said, ‘Allison, it’s still your purpose. It just looks a bit different now — and it’s a little more depth-filled.’ I’ll never forget that conversation because I feel like I knew it inside of me, but hearing it from a friend that I still have that purpose is helping me move forward as well.”
Such a sweet thing to say, but it’s even more important to hear.
Since Stephen’s death, the Keep Dancing Through author said her perspective has been changed drastically:
“I’ve had so many people — specifically men — reaching out to me, [saying] how they were so affected because they didn’t realize how much they were holding on to and not expressing. I found that to be a lot to hold on to at first, but then I realized I want people to feel safe talking to me and to open up and understand that we have to support each other in these moments.”
And with this new perspective, she wants to create a new lifestyle for her kids — one that doesn’t center around sorrow. She’s even introduced the practice of “cold plunging” into her daily routine:
“I could allow myself to go to a really dark place right now, and that would be valid and fine. But I want to choose a different way for myself and the kids. You’re trying to help yourself and help your children and friends and family, and it took a toll. Literally getting up in the morning was getting harder and harder. [Cold plunging] is now a part of my daily practice. Spiritually and mentally, it’s really helped as well.”
“I’m trying to teach them — and myself — that if you’re angry or sad, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. We’re coping together, and that requires trust and being really vulnerable. We lean on each other a lot for support because every single day is a new emotion. And honestly, not even day by day. It’s moment by moment. You never know when something is going to trigger a memory or thought and make you go into your head a little bit, so we make sure to communicate that with each other. We want to be okay — and we are okay — but it’s taking a lot of work together.”
“If you’re angry or sad, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person.” What an important lesson to learn! We all need to hear that some days…
Speaking of her late husband, Allison says their home is still filled with love:
“He was such a family man, and there’s so much of his love in this house. He did it with so much joy, and he was so cool when he did it too. I want my kids to know that, too.”
She also believes her late husband found peace “in the stars” after one tough night in February, when she went to the backyard to be alone:
“Stars are so important to me because that’s where we believe he is. I knew I wanted to have him find peace. I was under the stars by myself and I told him, ‘I forgive you, and I hope you’re with us.’ Talking to him and expressing all those emotions of forgiveness and sadness but also love and joy was so healing.”
Without Stephen, Allison says she hasn’t found the courage to return to their shared passion of dancing just yet, but she isn’t giving up hope:
“Dancing with him was so special. I haven’t danced yet. That’s gonna be a big step for me, but I know that I’ll get there. He’s guiding me on this path.”
We’re sending so much love and light to Allison. We hope she can find her love for dancing again very soon. It’s such a tragic circumstance, but tWitch’s family is doing a good job of continuing his incredible legacy of love and passion. May he rest in peace.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, help is available. Consider contacting the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988, by calling, texting, or chatting, or go to 988lifeline.org.
[Image via Allison Holker/Instagram]