Madonna Badger tells Oprah: 'Love kept me alive' through tragedy

Image: Madonna Badger and Oprah Winfrey
Madonna Badger spoke with Oprah Winfrey in an interview that will air Sunday on OWN about how love has helped her through the tragedy of losing her parents and three daughters in a fire in 2011. Today

Nearly three years after the loss of her three daughters and her parents in a Christmas Day house fire, Madonna Badger spoke with Oprah Winfrey about how she has been able to persevere through the tragedy. 

In an episode of "Super Soul Sunday" airing on the Oprah Winfrey Network on Sunday, Badger talks about learning to love again after the heartbreak of the fire that claimed five members of her family at her home in Stamford, Connecticut, in 2011. She maintains a close spiritual connection to her daughters, who were between 7 and 9 years old. 

Madonna Badger spoke with Oprah Winfrey in an interview that will air Sunday on OWN about how love has helped her through the tragedy of losing her parents and three daughters in a fire in 2011. Today

"I never stopped loving,'' Badger told Winfrey. "The love I have for my girls and for my parents is so strong. That love has kept me alive. My heart never closed down. I don't understand that idea. I don't understand the idea of shutting down the love. Because then I would be too scared that I couldn't feel my kids."


After the fire, Badger had suicidal thoughts, and was committed to a Connecticut psychiatric hospital. She also spent time in a facility in Nashville, before moving to Little Rock, Arkansas, and spending nearly a year living with good friend Kate Askew and her husband. On the first anniversary of the fire, Badger volunteered at an orphanage in Thailand during Christmas, bringing along a bag of toys that had belonged to her children.

In July, Badger, 50, married longtime friend Bill Duke and also took the time to reach out with a letter to Cassidy Stay, the brave 15-year-old who survived the massacre of her family in her Texas home on July 9. 

"Try to let the love all around you in ... and little by little you will feel a tiny bit better,'' Badger wrote. "And that's all there is. LOVE."

"Super Soul Sunday" airs Oct. 26 at 11 a.m. ET on OWN.

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