Regina King Pays Tribute to Son, Ian Alexander Jr., on One-Year Anniversary of His Tragic Passing

Regina King took to Instagram on Thursday night to pay tribute to her late son, Ian Alexander Jr., who passed away on January 21, 2022 – just two days after his 26th birthday. While a year has passed since her son committed suicide, she’s still learning to live with the fact her only child is no longer with us. 

“January 19th is Ian’s Worthday,” the 52-year-old actress and director wrote in her Instagram caption, sharing a video of her releasing a sky lantern. “As we still process his physical absence, we celebrate his presence. We are all in different places on the planet…so is Ian. His spirit is the thread that connects us.” 

At the time of his death, King released a short, yet emotional statement that called her son a ‘bright light who cared so deeply about the happiness of others.’ She added her family was ‘devastated at the deepest level and asked everyone for their ‘respectful consideration during this private time.’ 

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On Instagram, Regina King explained how orange was her son’s favorite color – giving the sky lantern, which glowed orange as it floated off into the distance, a symbolic meaning. It was also a symbolic post, considering it’s her first post on Instagram since January 17, 2022 – days before her son killed himself.

“Of course, orange is your favorite color…It’s the fire and the calm. I see you in everything I breathe. My absolute favorite thing about myself is being ….Regina the mother of Ian the GodKing. Continue to shine bright, my guiding light,” she continued – showing a sense of pride only mothers can understand.

Family members, friends, and colleagues rushed to the comments section to send their support, prayers, and condolences on this tragic day of remembrance for her family. Ava DuVernay, Niecy Nash, Lisa Leslie, Sarah Paulson, Octavia Spencer, and Tracee Ellis Ross were just some of those to reach out.

Regina King gave birth to Ian Alexander Jr. on January 19, 1996 – a year before she tied the knot with his father, Ian Alexander Sr. – a record producer and the former VP of Warner Bros. The two were married for 10 years before announcing their separation in 2007. Her son has always been her biggest pride. 

Regina King and Ian Alexander Jr. Had Matching Tattoos

Regina King has always voiced her love and support for Ian Alexander Jr. – love and support that was reciprocated back to her unconditionally and constantly. And it was that ‘unconditional love’ that created a never-ending bond – permanent, even –  between the mother and son, both literally and figuratively. 

In 2017, King talked about that ‘unconditional love’ in an appearance on The View. The two decided to get matching tattoos and each chose three designs they liked – without telling each other what those designs were. The only design in both of their top-3 was the words ‘unconditional love’ in the Aramaic language. 

On January 15, 2021 – one year before his death – Alexander Jr. took to Instagram to wish his mother a 50th birthday. “To be able to watch you take this lifetime by its neck and make it yours is something I will forever be grateful for,” he wrote. “But to have you as my mother is the greatest gift I could ask for.“

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The two have made several appearances together on red carpets through the years, including the 2019 Golden Globes – where Alexander Jr. called his mother a ‘super mom.’ “It’s really awesome to have a mother who I can enjoy spending time with,” he said, praising her ability to remain positive at all times.

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