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The Hollywood star Bruce Willis turned 68 on Sunday, which was his first birthday since he was diagnosed with dementia. To mark the occasion, his wife Emma Heming Willis admitted the family is feeling “grief and sadness” on his birthday.

Heming Willis Speaks Out

“The silver lining or the flip side is that I’m so lucky to feel your warmth and love that is directed to my husband and our family,” Heming Willis, 44, wrote in the caption of a video posted to her Instagram page. 

“I see your messages, your stories that you share, and all I can say is thank you,” she continued. “Your connection helps me and I hope it helps you in a small way to know that I see you and I deeply understand your journey as well?.”

In the video, Heming Willis admitted that she “started the morning by crying,” which she said fans could see from her “swollen eyes” and “snotty” nose.

“I just think it’s important that you see all sides of this. I always get this message, or people always tell me, ‘Oh, you’re so strong. I don’t know how you do it.’ I’m not given a choice,” she said, adding that she’s putting on her “big girl panties” to be strong for the two young daughters, ages 10 and 8, that she shares with Willis.

Related: Bruce Willis Receives Devastating Dementia Diagnosis

‘I Do Have Times Of Sadness’

“I do have times of sadness, every day, grief every day, and I’m really feeling it today on his birthday,” she continued. 

Heming Willis then said that putting together her tribute video for Willis felt “like a knife” in her heart.

“But as much as I do it for myself I do it for you, because I know how much you love my husband,” she added, telling herself, “Don’t cry, Emma.”

Check out Heming Willis’ full comments on this in the video below.

Related: Bruce Willis’ Wife Begs Paparazzi To Leave Him Alone After He’s Diagnosed With Dementia

Willis’ Diagnosis 

Willis was forced to retire from acting in March of last year after he was diagnosed with aphasia. Sadly, his family announced last month that his disease has since progressed to frontotemporal dementia. 

“Since we announced Bruce’s diagnosis of aphasia in spring 2022, Bruce’s condition has progressed and we now have a more specific diagnosis: frontotemporal dementia (known as FTD),” his family said in a statement posted to the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration website. “Unfortunately, challenges with communication are just one symptom of the disease Bruce faces. While this is painful, it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis.”

After saying that there is “no treatment” for FTD, Willis’ family said that he would want to use his diagnosis to help others. 

Bruce always believed in using his voice in the world to help others, and to raise awareness about important issues both publicly and privately,” the statement added. “We know in our hearts that – if he could today — he would want to respond by bringing global attention and a connectedness with those who are also dealing with this debilitating disease and how it impacts so many individuals and their families.”

This is clearly an extremely difficult time for Willis and his family. Please join us in saying a prayer for them as they continue to come to terms with his devastating diagnosis. 

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