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Regina King Tearfully Opens Up About Journey With Grief 2 Years After Son's Tragic Death

Regina King opens up about her son's death for the first time

Regina King is opening up about her son’s tragic death for the first time.

Ian Alexander Jr. died by suicide in January 2022 — shortly after celebrating his 26th birthday. It has been, without a doubt, an incredibly difficult few years for teh award-winning actress. And after taking some time away from the spotlight to mourn, Regina is finally ready to talk about what happened. She did her first sit-down interview on Good Morning America Thursday to reflect on her journey with grief over these past two years. And she did not hold back.

Related: Janelle & Kody Brown’s Son Laid To Rest — Read The Heart-Wrenching Tributes

Regina shared that even though she struggles with the pain of losing Ian, she wants to always honor her son:

“I’m a different person now than I was then on January 19. Grief is a journey, you know? I understand that grief is love that has no place to go, and that we all handle it differently. I know that it’s important for me to honor Ian and the totality of who he is, speak about him in the present, because he’s always with me, and the joy and happiness that he gave all of us.”

Amid the “joy and happiness,” Ian also struggled with his mental health. Tearfully, Regina went on to say she has to “respect and understand” this was “Ian’s choice” at the end of the day:

“When it comes to depression, people expect it to look a certain way and they expect it to look heavy. To have to experience this and not be able to have the time to just sit with Ian’s choice, which I respect and understand, that he didn’t want to be here anymore — that’s a hard thing for people to receive because they did not live our experience. They did not live Ian’s journey.”

But at the same time, the A Cinderella Story star admitted she was “so angry with God” for giving “that weight” of depression to Ian:

“All of the things that we had gone through, the therapy, psychiatrists and programs and he just, Ian was like, ‘I’m tired of talking, Mom.’”

Heartbreaking. She continued:

“My favorite thing about myself is being Ian’s mom and I can’t say that with a smile, with tears, with all of the emotions that come with that, I can’t do that if I did not respect the journey.”

Over the years, Regina would bring Ian to red carpet events, a tradition she continued in her own way while attending the 2024 Oscars on Sunday. She stepped out in an orange — her son’s favorite color — to pay tribute to him. See (below):

Regina King opens up about her son's death for the first time

What a beautiful way to honor Ian. Understandably, it’s still hard for Regina to go to events he used to be at with her. When asked if these moments “trigger” her, she replied:

“Oh, it’s a trigger, absolutely. Sometimes it’ll trigger just laughter, most times as of recent, it triggers a smile, but sometimes the absence, his absence, is really loud.”

Oof. And no matter how much time has passed, Regina pointed out that “the sadness” she feels from losing Ian “will never go away.” The Ray star concluded:

“Sometimes, you know, it’s a lot of guilt comes over me. When a parent loses a child, you still wonder what could I have done so that wouldn’t have happened. I know that I share this grief with everyone, but no one else is Ian’s mom. Only me. And so, it’s mine and the sadness will never go away. It will always be with me, and I think I saw somewhere, ‘The sadness is a reminder of how much he means to me.’”

Our hearts continue to go out to Regina. We applaud her for having the strength to speak out about her devastating loss. Watch the entire interview (below):

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

[Image via MEGA/WENN, Good Morning America/YouTube]

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