It’s an emotional birthday for Bruce Willis and his loved ones, says his wife, Emma Heming Willis, in a new Instagram message as Die hard star turns 68 on March 19. Following his family’s announcement that the action star was stepping back from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia, it was revealed last month that Willis now has frontotemporal dementia (FTD).
Together with the three adult daughters – Rumer, Scout and Tallulah – he shares with ex-wife Demi Moore, Pulp Fiction star shares 10-year-old Mabel and 8-year-old Evelyn with former model Emma, whom he married in 2009. Since her husband’s diagnosis was announced in February, Emma has used her platform to raise awareness of FTD, advocate for her husband and speaks openly about her grief – something she admitted she “really felt” on the occasion of his birthday.
“So today is my husband’s birthday,” the 45-year-old shared in a video message posted to her Instagram Stories on Sunday. “I’ve started the morning crying, as you can see by my puffy eyes and snotty nose.”
She went on to share how she has been praised for putting on a brave face amid her husband’s health challenges, even as she struggles inside.
“I just think it’s important that you see all sides of this,” the CocoBaba founder said. “I always get this message, or people always say to me, ‘Oh, you’re so strong, I don’t know how you do it’. I don’t get a choice. I wish I was. But I raising two kids in this too so sometimes in our lives we have to put on our big girl panties and get to it and that’s who I am But I have times of sadness everyday sadness everyday and I feel it really today on his birthday.”
Emma – who recently urged fans and the media to give her husband space when he’s in public – also got emotional as she spoke about putting together an Instagram feed celebrating Willis’ birthday.
“I don’t know why I do this to myself because the videos are like a knife in my heart,” she admitted to fans. “But as much as I’m doing it for myself, I’m doing it for you because I know how much you love my husband – don’t cry, Emma – but it means so much to me, so thank you.”