James Tupper and 14-Year-Old Son, Atlas, Leaning on One Another Following Anne Heche’s Death: “We Miss Her Every Day, Love Her”

James Tupper and his 14-year-old son, Atlas, are still learning to accept the death of Anne Heche – the ex-partner of James and mother of Atlas. The actress was involved in a fiery car accident one week prior when her vehicle crashed into a home – she was just 54 years old when she succumbed to her injuries. 

Tupper and Heche started dating in 2007 – they were both married to other people at the time, but had separated from their partners prior to dating. Two years later, the couple welcomed their son, Atlas Heche Tupper. While they never married, they remained together until going their separate ways in 2018.

Amid all the drama surrounding Anne Heche’s estate, James Tupper and his son are leaning on one another to help get through this difficult time. While James and Anne were separated at the time of her death, it’s not making it any easier to cope with – especially knowing how it has impacted their son. 

RELATED: Homer Laffoon Provides Heartwarming Update Regarding His Late Mother, Anne Heche – Including a Memoir She Wrote Prior to Her Unexpected Death

On June 2, James Tupper was spotted at the 30th annual Race to Erase MS Gala – which was being held at the Fairmont Century Plaza in Century City, CA. He took a moment to catch up with PEOPLE, who asked him how he and his son are doing in the aftermath of her death – now that it’s been nine months.

“We’re taking care of each other and taking it one day at a time. We’ve got a lot of great support and family around us, and it doesn’t help. We still miss her, we miss her every day, love her,” he said of his son and ex-girlfriend. It’s something they’ll probably never get over, but will eventually learn to cope with.

Tupper hasn’t opened up much since her passing, but provided an update about his and his son’s mental and emotional state during an interview with PEOPLE back in January. “I want to say that I’m doing great, but it’s been a very, very difficult time,” he said – adding that his primary focus is on looking after his son. 

He went on to express how impossible it is to get over her death quickly and admitted that it might take some time before they manage to accept it. “This shock that she’s gone now — someone that you really loved and really knew very, very well… [It’s] impossible to get over quickly,” Tupper said in January. 

James Tupper Understands What His Son is Going Through

During his interview in January, James Tupper discussed the difference between losing a mother as a child and losing an ex-partner as an adult. He argues that kids don’t have a point of reference or any context of what’s really going on – adding that they want to bury it, forget about it, and move past it. 

He speaks about this from his own personal experience. Not only is he witnessing it with his child, but James also lost his mother at a young age and understands the emotions his son is dealing with right now – adding that it has been a ‘very, very difficult time’ and called it a ‘very big transition’ for him and Atlas. 

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One of the things that has helped Atlas cope with the loss is playing tennis. According to James, Atlas plays tennis for several hours per day and it appears to be helping the 14-year-old create a ‘nice balance’ in his life. James also credited his son’s friends for helping him strike a balance and get through grief.

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