Regina King Says She Sometimes Still Feels ‘Guilt’ After Son’s Death: ‘The Sadness Will Never Go Away’

King said on ‘GMA’ that her son’s 2022 “choice” to end his life is “a hard thing for other people to receive, because they … did not live Ian’s journey”

Regina King is opening up about her grief journey — and her son Ian Alexander Jr.’s legacy — two years after his death.

In a sit-down interview with Robin Roberts, which aired in full Thursday on Good Morning America, the Shirley star admitted that “sometimes a lot of guilt comes over” her, to this day.

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

Ian died by suicide in January 2022, shortly after his 26th birthday. He is King’s only child, whom she shared with her ex-husband Ian Alexander Sr., a record producer.

Regina King Says She’s a ‘Different Person’ Now 2 Years After Son’s Death: ‘Grief Is a Journey’
Since his death, King has had “the time to just sit with Ian’s choice” — and now, “I respect and understand that he didn’t want to be here anymore. And that’s a hard thing for other people to receive, because they did not live our experience, did not live Ian’s journey,” she told Roberts, 63.

“It’s important to me to honor Ian the totality of who he is — I speak about him in the present, because he is always with me. And the joy and happiness that he gave all of us,” she also said.

Speaking specifically about depression, the Oscar winner said, “People expect it to look a certain way, and they expect it to look heavy,” but noted that isn’t always the case.

Regina King Says She’s a ‘Different Person’ Now 2 Years After Son’s Death: ‘Grief Is a Journey’
Since his death, King has had “the time to just sit with Ian’s choice” — and now, “I respect and understand that he didn’t want to be here anymore. And that’s a hard thing for other people to receive, because they did not live our experience, did not live Ian’s journey,” she told Roberts, 63.

“It’s important to me to honor Ian the totality of who he is — I speak about him in the present, because he is always with me. And the joy and happiness that he gave all of us,” she also said.

Speaking specifically about depression, the Oscar winner said, “People expect it to look a certain way, and they expect it to look heavy,” but noted that isn’t always the case.

Regina King Honors Late Son Ian Alexander Jr., 1 Year After His Death: ‘My Guiding Light’
King said she is “a different person now” than she was before Ian’s death, and that she understands now that “grief is a journey” and is “love that has no place to go.”

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

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

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988, text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or go to 988lifeline.org.

If you or someone you know needs mental health help, text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.

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