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Bruce and Tallulah Willis pictured in 2015.
“I keep flipping between the present and the past when I talk about Bruce: he, he, he, was. It’s because I have such hopes for my dad that I’m reluctant to give him up,” the 29-year-old daughter of the “Die Hard” star and ex-wife Demi Moore wrote in a blog post. Long first person essay for Vogue magazinepublished Wed.
She remembers the first signs of her father’s illness, which the family initially declared was aphasia, a condition that can impede communication. His family has since shared that the actor lives with FTD, which affects areas of the brain generally associated with personality, behavior, and language, according to the Mayo Clinic.
“I’ve known something was wrong for a long time,” she wrote. It started with a kind of vague unresponsiveness, which the family compensated for with Hollywood hearing loss: ‘Speak! “Die Hard is messing with my dad’s ears”.
Later the unresponsiveness widened, and I sometimes took it personally. He had two children with my stepmother, Emma Heming Willis, and I thought he had lost interest in me. Although this couldn’t be further from the truth, my teenage brain tortured itself with some wrong math: I’m not pretty enough for my mom, I’m not caring enough for my dad.”
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Tallulah Willis is the youngest daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore.
Tallulah Willis has also spoken candidly about her health—a diagnosis of ADHD and borderline personality disorder, and her struggle with anorexia nervosa, recalling that by the spring of 2022 she weighed about 84 pounds and couldn’t walk around her neighborhood if there wasn’t somewhere to sit to catch her breath. .
“I confess I have met Bruce’s decline in recent years with a share of avoidance and denial of which I am not proud. The truth is, I was too sick to handle it,” she wrote.
“I was able to give an epidural into my dad’s central canal; the good feelings weren’t really there, and the bad feelings weren’t really there. But I remember a moment when it hit me excruciatingly: I was at a wedding in the summer of 2021 on Martha’s Vineyard, and the father of the bride gave a poignant speech.” .
“Suddenly I realized I would never have this moment, my dad talking about me in adulthood at my wedding. It was devastating. I left the dinner table, walked out, and cried in the bush.”
After spending time at a recovery center in Texas, Tallulah Willis said she felt “much better” and now had “the tools to be present in all aspects of my life, especially in my relationship with my parents.”
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Bruce Willis retired from acting due to his illness.
When she visits her father now, she takes pictures of everything to document their time together and says she has every voicemail from him saved on a hard drive.
“I’m like an archaeologist,” she said, “searching for treasure in things I didn’t used to pay much attention to.” “I find I’m trying to document, to create a record of the day he wasn’t there to remind me of him and us.”
She added, “In the past I was so afraid that grief would destroy me, but I finally feel like I can show up and be counted on. I can savor that time, hold my father’s hand, and it feels great. I know that trials are on the horizon, that this is the beginning of grief, but that’s it.” It’s all about loving yourself before you can love someone else – it’s real.”
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