March 19 marks Bruce Willis’s first birthday since he and his family shared his frontotemporal dementia diagnosis, and his wife, Emma Heming Willis, honored the day by sharing her feelings of grief. In an emotional video post on Instagram, the CocoBaba founder opened up about how hard the day has been, while also noting that she hopes by sharing her experience others in similar situations will feel more comfortable opening up.
“Today is my husband’s birthday. I have started the morning by crying as you can see by my swollen eyes and snotty nose,” she said at the start of her video. “I just think it’s important that you see all sides of this.”
Emma continued, “I always get this message or people always tell me, ‘Oh, you’re so strong. I don’t know how you do it.’ I’m not given a choice. I wish I was, but I’m also raising two kids in this. 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.”
She went on to caption her post with a message for all of Bruce’s fans. “Today is one of those days of feeling the grief and sadness. But the silver lining or the flip side is that I’m so lucky to feel your warmth and love that is directed to my husband and our family,” she wrote. “I see your messages, your stories that you share, and all I can say is thank you. Your connection helps me, and I hope it helps you in a small way to know that I see you and I deeply understand your journey as well.”
Bruce and Emma share two daughters: 10-year-old Mabel and 8-year-old Evelyn. He also has three adult daughters — Rumer, Scout, and Tallulah — with his ex-wife Demi Moore. Rumer is expecting her first child later this year.
Scout also shared a lengthy birthday message in honor of her father turning 68. “It’s his birthday so send all of your love, tenderness, care and prayer his way for a moment!” she wrote alongside a throwback photo from her childhood on Instagram. “Happy birthday to one of my best friends, the Pisces king, the master of duality, both action hero icon and gentle girl dad. What a privilege to have this man as my father and learn so much about life, joy, mischief and art through him.”
She went to add that the “Die Hard” star’s birthday was “not necessarily an easy day,” but that “grief is a price I’ll always pay to know what it is to feel such love.” Scout concluded her post by writing, “I’m sending my love to anyone who has ever felt the capacity stretched by the enormity of love and humanness of grief. I love you.”
The entire Willis family revealed the actor’s diagnosis with a group statement in February. “Bruce has always found joy in life — and has helped everyone he knows to do the same. It has meant the world to see that sense of care echoed back to him and to all of us. We have been so moved by the love you have all shared for our dear husband, father, and friend during this difficult time,” they said. “Your continued compassion, understanding, and respect will enable us to help Bruce live as full a life as possible.”