When I married Rod, I knew how much I loved him. I didn’t know how much I would come to love his children Hunter & Paige. The joy I have taken from being their stepmother has been both unexpected and overwhelming. And I’m honored by the love they’ve shown me.
It is because of that love that I am devastated to inform you that my stepson, Hunter, developed a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot) while on a plane ride. That led to a cardiac arrest within 24 hours of the flight. He passed away at 12:31am on July 2nd at the young age of 27. It was just one of those bizarre, unexpected, freak occurrences. I have been reading and re-reading our recent texts to one another. He was so clever & kind. Sometimes silly and crazy insightful. Rod has been in Bulgaria shooting a movie so Hunter and his beautiful girlfriend, Ariel, were going to come over to the house on the 4th of July to spend the day and then watch the fireworks over CBS studios. I was reflecting just a few days before this happened on how honored I am that he wanted to spend the 4th just kicking it with me and how our relationship has grown to this wonderful place in which we are both so important to each other.
We are so grateful that he hung on long enough for Rod to get back from Bulgaria to feel his heartbeat one last time and say goodbye. When he drew his last breath he was surrounded by family and love.
I know a lot of you have questions about all of this: how did we find out, what did the medical professionals conclude, what treatments and measures did they employ/not-employ, were there underlying, undiagnosed conditions, etc. The thing is, over the last 45 or so hours we’ve told this story many times and we can’t do it anymore. We can’t keep reliving and narrating the story of the worst day of our lives. We don’t want to focus on how our sweet boy died. We want to rejoice in how he lived: with decency and kindness and humor and gallantry. So if you want to ask us questions let those questions not be about his death but about his life. He may no longer be with us but our love for him and those memories aren’t going anywhere. That’s what we want to nurture.
Below is a picture of Rod and I and our blended family of three children: my son, Isaac, Paige and Hunter. This is what our family is supposed to look like. And in my mind, and in my heart, this is what it will always look like, even if Hunter can’t stand next to us and smile and laugh for our future photos, I will always feel him there.
For more about Hunter please see the lovely tribute/obituary in the Hollywood Reporter.