Angela Simmons, daughter of Run D.M.C.’s Rev Run and star of Growing Up Hip Hop, is opening up about how she shared heartbreaking news with her 3-year-old son Sutton Joseph.
Simmons’ ex-fiance, Sutton Tennyson, was tragically shot and killed in Atlanta in 2018 and the mom was left wondering how to communicate the news to her young son.
Angela Simmons Shares How She Told 3-Year-Old Son About His Father’s Death
In a sneak peek of an episode of the reality show, Simmons was in tears talking about the day she told Sutton the news. She said while having a conversation with her life coach:
“[Sutton] comes over and I start showing him videos and pictures and stuff and he stopped, and it’s not like he’s full conversational yet, so this is what kind of makes it emotional. He’s like, ‘Is he alive?’”
Simmons continued, “But he doesn’t even say the word ‘alive,’ so for him to ask that is like, ‘Woah.’ I was like, ‘No, he’s not.’ This is the first time I’m having to explain it to him. Which is super sad because he’s 3.”
“How do you explain to a 3-year-old that they are never going to see them again?” the mom wondered. “Other than my own way, which is like ‘He’s in heaven, he’s with God,’ all of the great things.”
When Simmons told her son the news, she explained with tears in her eyes that he simply laid his head on her chest and told his mom he felt sad.
“I never see him emotional. He’s a happy kid and that whole day he was just kind of mopey and sad. It was super hard to have that conversation with him.” But in the end, the mom reassured her son that no matter what happens in life, he would always be loved.
According to People, the father was shot and killed after a conversation with another man escalated. The suspect believed to have shot Tennyson “sped from the scene in a car.”
Although the couple split in 2017, Simmons still appreciates her son’s father very much. She said of Tennyson on Instagram, “Thank you for leaving behind my greatest gift. I’m hurting. I’m numb. Thank you for the outpouring of love everyone. I can’t believe I’m even saying Rest In Peace Sutton. I promise to hold SJ down in every way, I promise.”
You can catch Growing Up Hip Hop on WeTV Thursday nights at 9 p.m. ET.
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.