Gwyneth Paltrow Thought She Was Physically Dying While Intensely Grieving Her Father's Death

Gwyneth Paltrow is reflecting on one of the most difficult times of her life.

The Oscar winner has obviously made a name for herself as a movie star in her own right, bigger than her parents even. So it’s easy to forget that when she first started out she was better known as the daughter of Blythe Danner and director Bruce Paltrow.

Sadly, Bruce passed away in 2002 — after his daughter got to star in his final film, Duets. And now, two decades later, Gwyneth is ready to reflect on that passing in a way she never has before.

Recalling his death during the most recent episode of Holly Willoughby‘s By the Light of The Moon podcast, the Politician star shared:

“I lost my dad to cancer when I was 30. He was only 58. It gets so abstract as the years go on. You are so far away from the last phone call, the last meal you had with them, the last embrace, your relationship with them is in another realm. When it first happened I never anticipated that it was possible to have a feeling like that. It was not in my lexicon of emotions. It was so physical it felt like it split me open.”

Elaborating on the physical pain of her grief, she revealed:

“After the funeral I was living in London and I woke up in the middle of the night and I thought I was having a heart attack. The only reason I didn’t call the emergency services is because I didn’t know that in England you dial 999; in America it’s 911. Honestly, I thought I was dying. It was really, really tough.”

Sounds like it could have been a panic attack? Awful, just awful. And while you already have mortality on the brain, too…

The 49-year-old continued:

“The first year was just beyond — I don’t know how we all got through it, my mother, my brother and I. It was pretty messed up. Anyone will tell you, who loses a love of their life like that, there’s just no other way but through. You just try to process your grief and keep going.”

Now, she sees a silver lining in the fact that she lost her dad when she still “had so much life left to build.” She was, after all, only 29 at the time. She said:

“I hadn’t been married yet. I hadn’t had kids yet. I hadn’t really found myself yet. I still had that opportunity to continue to, I don’t know — I had all these chapters left. What’s so sad is he’s not a part of them, but at the same time, he was such an amazing part of the foundation.”

So moving.

In fact, his legacy loomed large over her future endeavors. The Marvel alum revealed:

“Starting Goop was after he died. When he was diagnosed I started looking at environmental toxins and how food affects our health. That is what started me on this whole journey.”

Wow! Obviously Bruce was so important to Gwyneth in his life, and it’s clear his memory has remained a guiding force in the years since.

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