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Billie Lourd just reminded everyone that it’s OK to grieve at Christmas

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Hannah-Rose Yee
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Carrie Fisher and Billie Lourd

The actor, who lost her mother Carrie Fisher and grandmother Debbie Reynolds during the festive season in 2016, has shared a powerful Instagram post about loss.

On 27 December 2016, Billie Lourd’s mother Carrie Fisher died. A day later, on 28 December, her grandmother Debbie Reynolds passed away. Two of Lourd’s closest family members, two strong women in her life, both lost over the course of a single festive period.

Since the death of her mother and grandmother, Lourd has always attempted to speak openly about grief on her social media. The actor has given interviews about how she processed her late mother’s death and sung songs dedicated to the Star Wars icon. She has always tried to talk to her fans on Instagram about the strange and nuanced ways that grief can inhabit your life after a loss.

This Christmas is no different. The Booksmart and American Horror Story star posted a photograph of herself, her mother and her grandmother on Christmas day alongside a caption that reminded her followers that there is no one appropriate way to grieve, especially during the holiday season.

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“Happy holidays! (But also sad/emotional/weird/stressful holidays!) Sending my love to everyone who has lost someone they loved and is missing them a little extra today,” Lourd wrote.

“I see you,” she added. “It’s okay if everything ain’t all merry and bright. It can be a mix of all of it. And it’s all okay. Feel all the feelings - the good and the not so good.”

The actor reminded everyone that even over the Christmas period, when everything is supposed to be merry and bright, it’s perfectly OK to feel emotional about those who are no longer with us. For those who are dealing with grief and loss, Lourd also suggested a few coping mechanisms.

“Eat something delish they used to love,” she wrote. “Put on one of their favorite songs. Tell a story about them. Cry about them. Call one of their friends you haven’t talked to in a while. Be kind and patient with yourself. Don’t grieve in silence. You’re not alone.” 

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Three generations of Hollywood royalty: Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds and Billie Lourd pictured together in January 2015.

This Christmas is especially poignant for Lourd, given that it marks the release of the ninth and final Star Wars film The Rise Of Skywalker. The movie, made after Fisher’s tragic death in 2016, includes a performance from Fisher as General Leia Organa pieced together from deleted footage of Fisher from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

In a few scenes in The Rise Of Skywalker, Fisher and Lourd – who plays a Resistance member named Connix – even appear onscreen together for the final time. “I want to be in scenes with her. I want it for my children when I have kids. I want them to see me,” Lourd told director JJ Abrams, during the making of the film.

“There are moments where they’re talking; there are moments where they’re touching,” Abrams added. “There are moments in this movie where Carrie is there, and I really do feel there is an element of the uncanny, spiritual, you know classic Carrie, that it would have happened this way because somehow it worked. And I never thought it would.” 

Carrie Fisher 9
Carrie Fisher in Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker.

Previously, Lourd has shared messages with her followers on Instagram about how she processes grief on other important holidays, including Mother’s Day.

“Mother’s Day can be more than just one adjective,” she wrote on Instagram in May. “I’ve come to realise it’s also okay to have a Sad Mother’s Day, Weird Mother’s Day, Funny Mother’s Day, Angry Mother’s Day, Frustrated Mother’s Day or all of the above….sending my love to anyone who needs it.” 

Images: Getty, Lucasfilm

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Hannah-Rose Yee

Hannah-Rose Yee is a writer based in London. You can find her on the internet talking about movies, television and Chris Pine.

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