Taraji P. Henson sat down with co-host Tracie Jade Jenkins and therapist Sierra Hillsman on Wednesday’s episode of Peace of Mind with Taraji on recalling how she told her 9-year-old son that his father had been murdered.
Her son, Marcell, is now 26.
“My son’s father was suddenly taken — murdered — when he was 9, and I didn’t know how to tell him that,” recalls Henson, 50. “I couldn’t tell him he was murdered, so I told him he died in an accident.”
“Later on in life he found out and he came back to me and was like, ‘Why didn’t you tell me my daddy was murdered?’ And so then we had to get therapy,” she went on, then asking Hillsman how she would suggest breaking that news to a child.
“I would definitely say use age-appropriate language, explaining sometimes there are situations where people do evil things to other people — in this situation, somebody killed your father,” Hillsman says.
“I didn’t have the balls — it wouldn’t come out,” Henson replies, starting to cry.
“It was in the paper and I didn’t know how to tell him. He was stabbed to death, it was the worst way you could die,” she shared. “I just didn’t have the words. I didn’t know how to tell a 9-year-old.”
Both Henson and longtime friend, Jenkins, discuss mental health issues on Facebook Watch’s Peace of Mind with celebrities, experts and also, everyday people.
Each episode centers around a different mental health topic.
“I’ve long been a mental health advocate for the Black community and created the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation in 2018 that has provided resources to thousands of people who are struggling,” Henson previously said in a statement about the show.
“I’m looking forward to bringing this new talk series to Facebook Watch, where I can continue to create conversation around an issue that is near and dear to my heart.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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