Regina King reflects on journey with grief two years after son died by suicide

King has received various accolades throughout her decades-long career as an actress and director, but she described her only son, Ian Alexander Jr., as her greatest source of pride.

Regina King is opening up about her experience with grief since her only son, Ian Alexander Jr., died by suicide two years ago.

During a preview clip of an upcoming interview with Robin Roberts for “Good Morning America,” the Academy Award-winning actress said she is a different person now than she was on Jan. 19, 2022, contending that “grief is a journey,” People reported.

“Grief is love that has no place to go,” she said, noting, “We all handle it differently.”

Ian Alexander Jr. and his mother, Regina King, are shown in 2019 at the LACMA Art + Film Gala. King is opening up about her grief since the 2022 suicide of Alexander, her only child. (Photo: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for LACMA)

King told Roberts that her upcoming film, “Shirley,” is dedicated to her late son.

Her only child with her ex-husband, record producer Ian Alexander Sr., had just turned 26 when he died.

King commemorated Alexander’s birthday last year, plus paid tribute to him a year after his passing with a tribute on Instagram.

“January 19th is Ian’s Worthday. As we still process his physical absence, we celebrate his presence,” she wrote. “We are all in different places on the planet … so is Ian. His spirit is the thread that connects us.”

King shared that orange was her son’s favorite color, and she sees him in everything she breathes. The “Shirley” star also said her “favorite thing” about herself is that she is “Regina, the mother of Ian the GodKing.”

“Continue to shine bright, my guiding light,” she wrote.

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King has received various accolades throughout her decades-long career as an actress and director, but she previously told People that her son was her greatest source of pride. At the time, she said it wasn’t always easy being a single parent once divorced from Alexander’s father in 2007 after nine years of marriage, but nothing compares to her love for her child.

“You don’t know what unconditional love is. You may say you do, but if you don’t have a child, you don’t know what that is,” she said. “When you experience it, it’s the most fulfilling [thing] ever.”

King and Alexander had matching “unconditional love” tattoos in Aramaic — his on his shoulder and hers on her arm. He also frequently accompanied his mother to red-carpet events, including the Golden Globes in 2019, where Alexander voiced high praise for his mother.

“She’s just a super mom,” he told E! News, according to People. “She doesn’t really let bad work days or anything come back and ruin the time that we have. It’s really awesome to have a mother who I can enjoy spending time with.”

King echoed her son’s sentiments, sharing that he made her “happier than anything in the whole world.”

If you or someone you know is considering self-harm or suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or the Suicide Crisis Line at 1-800-784-2433. Help is available 24 hours a day.

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