Regina King Is ‘a Different Person’ After Her Son’s Death

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Two years after her son Ian Alexander Jr.’s death, Regina King is as ready as a mother can be to talk about her grieving process. On Thursday, the actress opened up for the first time about the loss of her only son — who died by suicide in January 2022 — in a sit-down interview with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America. Ian, whom King shared with her ex-husband and record producer Ian Alexander Sr., was 26 years old when he died.

“When a parent loses a child, you still wonder, What could I have done so that wouldn’t have happened?” the 53-year-old said.

King told Roberts she had been “so angry with God” immediately after her son’s death, but she has since had time to “sit with Ian’s choice” and is at peace with his passing. The Shirley actress added that Ian had been suffering from depression, and that the family had done everything in their power — from “therapy, psychiatrists, and programs” — to take care of his mental health. “I respect and understand that he didn’t want to be here anymore,” she said, remembering that Ian had been “tired of talking.” “And that’s a hard thing for other people to receive, because they did not live our experience, did not live Ian’s journey.”

More than two years after his passing, King admitted that “sometimes a lot of guilt comes over” her. She knows that grief has changed her — that she is “a different person now” than she was when Ian was still alive. But King understands that “grief is a journey,” and she knows that grief is a result of the immeasurable love she had for her child.

“I know that I share this grief with everyone, but no one else is Ian’s mom. Only me,” she told Roberts. “And so it’s mine, and the sadness will never go away. It’ll always be with me.”

“And I think I saw somewhere, ‘The sadness is a reminder of how much he means to me,’ you know?” King added. “Happy sorrow.”

In the U.S., the national 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline can be reached at 988 (call or text) or 988lifeline.org (chat).

Regina King Is ‘a Different Person’ After Her Son’s Death