Emma Heming Willis posted a reel on Instagram in recognition of her husband’s 68th birthday, which incidentally fell on the feast of St. Joseph, the patron of fathers.
In the short video she explains “I have started the morning by crying as you can see by my swollen eyes.” She goes on to share how hard the reels are to do — in fact she explains they’re “like a knife in my heart” — but that she does them in a bid to raise awareness for Willis’ condition, frontotemporal dementia (FTD), and to keep her husband’s fans updated.
It’s easy to see from the reel how distressing it is for Heming to see her husband’s physical and mental health deteriorate before her eyes, but it’s equally easy to see the love she has for him and her family as they try to find ways to support the actor.
As Heming acknowledges, although she tries to be strong, she has waves of grief that come over her:
“… Sometimes in our lives, we have to put our big girl panties on and get to it, and that’s what I’m doing. But I do have times of sadness every day, grief every day and I’m really feeling it today on his birthday.”
Yet, among all the sadness of seeing the veteran Hollywood star lose his cognitive abilities, there is a certain joy in seeing his family and fans rally around him. And while his wife raises their two children, she’s also living out her marital vows of caring for her husband as he battles his sickness — far from the bright Hollywood lights.