Chelsea Handler Posts A Heartbreaking Tribute On Instagram To Her Late Brother

Photo: Michael Buckner/Variety/REX/Shutterstock.
Chelsea Handler’s Instagram is typically an amalgam of hilarious comments, some thoughts on politics, and her workout routines, amongst her other pursuits. But on July 11, her Instagram took a serious turn when she posted a touching, heartbreaking tribute and slideshow to her late brother, Chet, who fell off a cliff and passed away 33 years ago, when Handler was just 9 years old.
“33 years ago this month my brother Chet died,” Handler, who has previously spoken out about coping with the loss,wrote. “He was 22, and the oldest of 6 kids. We were never 6 again. Only 5.”
She went on:
“The number was never the right number again. But, because of that day, I learned how to live and love and laugh and to:
Show up
Stand up
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Love up
Argue
Fight
Make up
Show up again.
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Go to bat for people.
Tell them you love them.
Defend your friends.
Stand up for yourself.
Give away the things you have in excess.
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Give away the things you love the most.
This is the only chance we get.
Make it count.
Live a little.”
ET points out that a number of celebrities replied to Handler’s emotional, powerful post — including Jessica Chastain, who also lost a sibling in 2003 to suicide. “This is such a beautiful tribute to him,” she wrote, “My sister taught me the same things.”
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Both Sarah Paulson and Katy Perry responded as well, telling Handler that her tribute was “important and so moving” and “so beautiful,” respectively — it’s proof that her words impacted people.
Arguably, her words are “important,” as Paulson put it, because they have the possibility to help other people — like her fans — cope with their own grief. In fact, many commenters have also taken to the post, thanking her for sharing the story, sending their condolences, and some even sharing their own stories of loss. “I lost a brother also, there were 5 of us, [it’s] been 4 since, sometimes I correct myself [and] still say 5 31 years later,” one commenter wrote. “He was 29, I was 20.” The commenter said it was “never the same.”
But the commenter concluded by thanking Handler for her hilarity — with a message that could potentially be universal for anyone grappling with grief: “Keep on making me laugh girl, it outshines our sadness we hide.”
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