The tears were flowing as the women all opened up about loss.
Gloria Estefan, sister Rebecca, daughter Emily and niece Lili all tackled a tough subject on this weeks new episode of “Red Table Talk: The Estefans”: grief.
The women all shared their own personal heartbreak with viewers, with Gloria explaining their hope for the episode was that, “by sharing our darkest days,” they could “bring some healing and light to those struggling with grief and loss.”
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The episode began with Gloria opening up about the death of her mother, also named Gloria, in 2017 at the age of 88. For the conversation, the cohosts were joined by Gloria’s sister Rebecca.
“A part of us left with her,” explained Gloria, who said her mother was “a true diva and the backbone of our family.” While both Rebecca and Gloria had “tumultuous” relationships with their mom, they all agreed Emily got “the best” version of her. “My grandma and I could talk about everything,” said the 25-year-old singer.
“The most beautiful thing that was able to happen to her, she had the kind of death that despite all the things she was hooked up to, we were all with her at the moment of her passing,” recalled Gloria. “And we all just put our hands on her, all of us were touching her, telling her, ‘We’re here.'”
They all began to get choked up as Emily said they watched “her heart rate go down, one by one.” “What a privilege to have everyone there,” added Lili.
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Her mother’s death hit Gloria especially hard, as she explained she couldn’t record her next album for over a year. But in the time since her passing, Estefan has seen signs she believes let her know her mother is still watching over her.
“She died at 8:19. Her mother died on 8:19. In every possible way, she sent us messages, that our grandmother was there with her,” she said. “Mom was a powerful force, she continues to be. Open yourselves to the messages that your loved ones are giving you constantly. I believe firmly that there’s a million ways … they have gotten us through the toughest moments of our lives, even when they’ve been gone.”
Lili didn’t get to have the same goodbye with her mother, with died by suicide when she was just 10 years old.
“It happened very fast, I always say she passed from a heart attack but it was actually a tragic death,” said Lili, explaining the first time it really hit her that her mother was gone. “I remember cleaning her bedroom. I went into her room and for the first time, I saw that closet empty. That’s when you say, this is real.”
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Because her mother’s burial took place on Christmas Eve, Lili didn’t celebrate Christmas for years. It wasn’t until she had her own children that she really started to celebrate again. “Don’t leave anything unsaid, because you never know,” she told the panel. “My mom is my angel.”
The women ended the episode with Gloria saying she believes that even though loved ones may be “gone from the physical space … they’re alive in every cell in our bodies.”
As Emily began to say she’d keep her elder family members’ memory alive when they’re gone, Gloria made it clear she didn’t want to go there. “Don’t push me!” she exclaimed, laughing as she cut her off.
The conversation on grief will continue later this week as the husband of Christina Mauser, a coach killed in the same helicopter crash as Kobe Bryant, joins the panel.
The special episode will drop Friday at 9am PT on Facebook Watch.
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