Bruce Willis‘ wife Emma Heming Willis has taken on the role as primary carer for her 68-year-old husband amid his dementia battle. But what makes it harder for Emma is the “snarky” comments she receives while trying to act as a care partner for the former actor.
Taking to Instagram, the 45-year-old addressed the comments in a video to her fans and supporters.
“So I just wanted to come on and acknowledge the incredible amount of messages that I received in the past couple days of encouragement and other care partners sharing their learnings with me from past experience,” she began, after previously asking other caregivers to send her some pictures of what makes them happy amid their journeys.
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But she added, “There has been some snarkiness embedded in there too, but those are people with an opinion versus the experience and those two things are very different.”
She said, ”I hope and pray” that the people who have left such messages “never understand what this experience looks like or feels like”.
She added that she tends to ignore those types of messages, instead paying “close attention to the people that have the experience because those people are who I am learning from,” she continued.
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“So I’m going to continue to keep my head down and focus on this path that I’m on which is to raise awareness around FTD (frontotemporal dementia), to talk about the importance of brain health.”
Her husband Bruce was officially diagnosed with the disease in February this year, and as there is no cure for dementia as of yet, Emma says that prevention and awareness of brain health is the “only glimmer of hope” to fight it.
“I do really believe that it’s through action, education and this type of conversation that creates hope and change. So I hope that you will join me and use your voice too because we are much more powerful together.”
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Her video comes on the heels of another she uploaded earlier in the week, encouraging care partners to take care of themselves as well.
“I think it’s so important for us to break up our thinking which can feel, for me, very much like doom and gloom,” she said, sitting in her car after returning from a hike.
“I know it looks like I’m out living my best life – I have to make a conscious effort every single day to live the best life that I can,” she explained.
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“I do that for myself, I do that for our two children and Bruce who would not want me to live any other way,” she said.
“My message is simple. When we are not looking after ourselves, we are no good to the people we love who we want to show up for and take care of.”
Emma shares two children with her husband, Mabel Ray Willis, 11, and Evelyn Penn Willis, nine. Bruce also has three adult daughters from his previous relationship with actress Demi Moore – Rumer Glenn Willis, 34, Scout LaRue Willis, 31, and Tallulah Belle Willis, 29.