What Stacy London Learned After Witnessing Her Father’s Death

We know and love her as a stylist, fashion commentator and the former co-host of What Not To Wear, but Stacy London has been out of the spotlight for a few years with one personal challenge after the next: Spine surgery, money problems, a painful breakup and, last year, the death of her much-loved father. With a new TV project in the works (details TBD), Stacy is entering her next phase with clarity and optimism. But she’s completely unafraid to share her ongoing mourning process — sometimes illuminating, often excruciating — with Christene Barberich for her third appearance on the UnStyled podcast.
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The death of any parent is painful for anyone, and in Stacy’s case, it meant losing a role model, and a constant, loving presence; her father was someone who called his kids “every day of our lives,” and who sent flowers every Valentine’s Day. With raw, unflinching candor — seriously, this episode made us cry — Stacy admits that witnessing her dad’s passing, after many months of a protracted heart-related illness, wasn’t precisely how it’s often portrayed.
“I was with him when he died [and] the moments after that. His eyes were wide open. They were still alive to me,” she recalls tearfully to Christene. “It was the weirdest, hardest, most complicated, confusing moment for me. I didn’t feel like his spirit left his body and it was all around me. I don’t know who comes up with this crap, but it wasn't like that at all. It was the emptiest, loneliest feeling in the world and I still feel bad. I still feel that when I think about the void that he left.”
Speaking on UnStyled four months after that difficult day, Stacy has found that grief “never presents itself neatly. It’s never one thing. It’s this amorphous thing. Sometimes grief is like a warm blanket; sometimes it's the thing that makes me feel like I'm still connected to him.” At other moments, though, “the pain of losing them is so massive, it sometimes feels like you can't breathe.”
All of it, she realized, is a gift. “You have to have gratitude for that kind of pain. Because that pain is only possible if you've loved somebody just as greatly. This idea that if you can carve out all that space for joy you're going to leave all that space for pain to enter as well.”
Stacy had much more to say — about her father, getting older, why her new TV show isn’t about fashion and where her career’s headed — in this unforgettable, deeply moving episode of UnStyled. Have tissues at the ready. Listen now and subscribe via Apple Podcasts today.
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