Sunday, September 16, 2012

Famous People Lose Children Too

After our child died, all of us wonder why this has happened to us. We are just ordinary people living ordinary lives. Why doesn’t something like this ever happen to the well-known? You may be surprised to learn that many famous and wealthy suffer the loss of a child. Some are made public; others not. I thought you might like to see a list of some of them, names, ages (where known) and how the child died. My list follows.

The Kennedy clan has had more than their share: John and Jackie had a stillborn daughter Anabella in 1956 and premature Patrick in 1963 and then John Jr. died in a plane accident with his wife at 39. Only Carolyn survives them all. Ted Kennedy and wife had a stillborn son in 1964 and many other children in the brothers and sisters of the Kennedy’s large family have died for various reasons.

Mike Tyson’s four year old daughter, Exodus, strangled by a power cord in 2009.

Eric Clapton’s four year old son, Connor, fell out of a window in 1991.

O.J. Simpson’s one year old daughter, Aaren, drowned in the family pool in 1979.

Mark Twain lost his son, Langdon, to diphtheria at age 19 months.

Abraham Lincoln had four sons, three of which did not survive to adulthood.

Senator John and Elizabeth’s Edwards’ 17 year old son, Wade, died in a car accident.

Singer Prince and his then wife, actress Mayle, lost their week old son to a rare genetic disorder in 1996.

Audrey Hepburn had a stillborn child.

Yoko Ono had a stillborn son in 1968.

Oprah Winfrey had a son in 1968 who only lived two weeks.

Rick Schroeder and wife had a child that was stillborn in 2004.

Keanu Reeves and then girlfriend had a daughter, Ava, who was stillborn in 1999.

Luciano Povarotti and his wife had twins in 2003. Their daughter survived but their son was stillborn.

Vice-president Joe Biden’s one year old daughter, Amy, died in a car accident, along with his wife in 1972.

Barbara Eden of “ I Dream of Jeannie” had a stillborn child in 1971.

John Travolta and Kelly Preston lost their 16 year old son, Jett, in 2009.

Anthony Quinn’s first child, Christopher, downed in a neighbor’s swimming pool at age 2. (The neighbor was W.C. Fields.)

George and Barbara Bush lost their two year old daughter, Robin, to Leukemia in 1953.

Red Skelton’s 10 year old son, Richard, died from Leukemia in 1958.

Jerry Lee Lewis’s 3-year-old son, Steve, drowned in 1962. (He also lost his 19 year old son in a car accident in 1973.)

John Walsh’s 6-year-old son, Adam, was kidnapped and murdered in 1961. Walsh went on to do the TV show “America’s Most Wanted.”

Charlie Chaplin’s son, Norman, died when he was 3 days old in 1919.

Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger and then girlfriend had a stillborn daughter, Corrina, in 1968.

Writer Anne Rice’s daughter, Michele, died from leukemia in 1972 at age 5.

Bill Cosby’s son was murdered a few years ago when changing a tire on a freeway access road in Los Angeles.

A few others are Mary Tyler Moore’s son, Marie Osmond’s son and Gandi’s son.

This list only scratches the surface. You are not alone in your loss. Child loss touches most people in one way or another. It may be you, a family member, a friend or just someone you feel empathy for. Reach out to those you know. And to the others, you can empathize, knowing just how they are feeling because you, too, have been on a grief journey.

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