Not a day goes by where Barbara Eden doesn’t think of her late son Matthew.
Na edição desta semana da PEOPLE, the iconic television and film actress, 90, opens up about the tragic death of her son 20 anos atrás, the guilt she felt, and the lessons she’s learned.
“When Matthew was clean and sober, he was such a beautiful human being, dentro e fora,” she says of her son, who died of an accidental heroin overdose in 2001. “Drugs are inexplicable. It’s so frustrating.”
Eden and her first husband, actor Michael Ansara, tried for nearly seven years to conceive a child before getting the news they had been wishing for.
“The same day that I Dream of Jeannie sold, the doctor told me I was pregnant,” says Eden, who starred in the NBC sitcom from 1965-1970. “I was thrilled. eu estava tão feliz, but I knew they’d have to replace me. Nós vamos, God love [I Dream of Jeannie O Criador] Sidney Sheldon. He got to work and we did the first 13 shows with me pregnant with Matthew.”
“I don’t know if becoming a mom changed me, but it was the most wonderful thing that ever happened to me,” ela continua. “It’s a miracle, Tendo um bebê, and having this little creation. I get goosebumps when I think about it. It’s the loveliest thing that happened in my life.”
Anos depois, Eden, Ansara and their son were met with a roller coaster of emotions as Matthew, who was in and out of rehab for 14 years before he died, fought his addiction.
“At first we didn’t recognize the behavior — the sleeping and the bouts of anger that would come up all of a sudden with this charming, darling boy. Eu estava morrendo de medo,” says Eden. “I didn’t know what to do.”
“He was too young to know he needed rehab or help,” Ela adiciona. “It’s a wonder that he lived to be 35.”
For more from Barbara Eden, pegue a última edição da PEOPLE, nas bancas agora, ou se inscrever aqui.
Matthew died on June 25, 2001.
“I don’t think there’s anything worse than to lose your child,” ela diz. “As a parent, I had a lot of guilt and anger, and following his death I was always on the edge of tears. Even though he was 35, he was still my baby.”
“I began to speak with parents who were going through the same thing,” ela continua. “I think parents should know that it’s not a bad thing to be strict with your child. If you know what’s going on, you have a chance to help. Ultimately it’s up to them, but there’s hope.”
And while Eden says you can never really “cope” with losing a child, she continues to live day by day and count her blessings.
Veja o episódio completo de Recursos de pessoas: Barbara Eden na PeopleTV.com ou no aplicativo PeopleTV.
“I’m really lucky,” diz a estrela, who has been happily married to real estate developer Jon Eicholtz, 83, para 30 anos.
“I have dear friends,” ela continua. “I have wonderful family, a very supportive husband. A dog who is adorable, but a brat! sim, I’m very happy. I think life, tudo, has to work itself out. There’s a reason for most things, and I can’t wish for it.”
Se você ou alguém que você conhece está lutando contra o vício, entre em contato com a linha de ajuda de abuso de substâncias SAMHSA em 1-800-662-HELP.