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A version of this story first appeared in the Nov. 27 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
I’d been with John since I was 20 years old. He’d dated a friend of mine but they’d broken up, and I saw him at a show and he asked me for my number. He said he’d never forget the dirty look I gave him as I was writing it down. We were together for 26 years, but when Gracie was born it was like we were 15, we were so giddy. We loved being parents so much. He and Gracie used to do radio shows that he would record, and she loved it. I still haven’t been able to turn on the computer and listen to them.
He was so passionate about what he did for a living. Radio was his first wife! Part of him was really shy in person — sometimes he couldn’t connect his big heart and his big personality — so the microphone suited him. He famously fired Rick Rubin from WNYU — I can’t remember why, it was something stupid like not showing up. John was very focused.
He was very proud of my job at Pandora. He was my biggest fan, cheerleader, fact-checker and proofreader. With my career, I’ve never felt more creative, productive, optimistic and in the right place, and I’m sad he’s not around to see that.
Gracie and I talk about him a lot. She remembers that his favorite color was purple and that he took her for cookie dates and hot cocoa. But she was so little when he died that I’ll have to give her the memories.
When we went to the hospital -— clearly he was gone — I grabbed his wallet and his eyeglasses. When I finally looked in his wallet after he died, I found the old dry-cleaner slip with my phone number on it from all those years ago. He still carried it around with him.
I’m a publicist from New York, so the first things I did was get obituaries together and call a shrink. A friend recommended an amazing nonprofit called A Caring Hand for people and their children who have suffered sudden loss. It’s an 11-week program, we go for two to three hours every week, and Gracie’s in a group with kids her age. They got free tickets to the Big Apple Circus.
I’m doing OK. What’s my other option? I’m sad and I miss him every day, but I’m not tortured. F— being miserable! He wouldn’t want me to be. I don’t think he’s hovering around me making sure I’m okay, but I do think his energy is out there. Gracie pulls the same stupid faces he did, she smiles like him, we tell his jokes. She’s a very happy kid. And we’re going to the circus tomorrow.
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