John Travolta talks about loss in a new interview. (Photo: Amanda Edwards/[Getty Images for ABA] )
Nine months after the actress died from breast cancer at age 57, the Saturday Night Fever, Grease and Pulp Fiction star reflected on her loss in an interview with Esquire España. He called his mourning process “personal” and “individual,” and spoke about “healing” and “overcoming feelings of loss and grief.”
John Travolta and Kelly Preston at a photocall for their film Gotti in 2018. (Photo: LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images)
In the interview, translated from Spanish, the 67-year-old star said he learned that “mourning is something personal. Mourning is individual, and experiencing your own journey is what can lead to healing.”
He continued, “This is different from someone else’s journey. The most important thing you can do to help another when they are in mourning is to allow them to live it and not complicate it with yours.”
Travolta — who married Preston in 1991 and supported her during her secret, two-year cancer battle — said he’s been focusing on his own healing and allowing himself “enough space” to grieve.
Otherwise, it’s like multiple “boats plummeting to the bottom,” he said. “That is my experience. Because even though it’s great to have company [in grief], sometimes it becomes like you’re helping them, rather than putting yourself to work overcoming feelings of loss and grief.”
He also admitted that well-intentioned people have left him feeling “so saturated with everyone’s sadness that I didn’t know what to do.” So, for him, it’s been important to go to a “place where you can mourn, without any interference. If I die tomorrow, the last thing I want to see is that everyone around is sunk.”
Travolta also spoke about supporting the couple’s children, Ella, 21, and Ben, 10, “with what they want to do with their lives.” He talked about Ella, with whom he starred in a Super Bowl commercial, pursuing acting professionally. She was recently cast in a reimagined Alice in Wonderland. He talked about how he wants to help Ben “evolve” as the boy has “his whole life ahead of him.”
As for his own work, he said he’s being “selective” and “just sorting out what’s next.”
Travolta recently shared a tribute to his late son, Jett, on what would’ve been his 29th birthday. The eldest child of Travolta and Preston died in 2009 at age 16 from a seizure.
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