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Chelsea Handler shares moving tribute to brother she lost 33 years ago

The comedian and talk show host's brother died more than three decades ago, but she still feels his loss.
/ Source: TODAY

Losing a loved one is one of the hardest things anyone will ever go through. But in time, there are ways to learn from that loss, as Chelsea Handler noted on Instagram Tuesday.

In a moving post to her older brother Chet, who died 33 years ago, Handler had much to say about how his loss changed her life — and taught her how to live.

Handler was the youngest of six siblings and Chet died in 1984 when she was 9. Last year, she talked about the death of her brother with People and Entertainment Weekly, and how it affected her family.

"Seeing your parents fall apart is really rough," she said then. "I wouldn't wish it on anybody ... As hard as it was for me or for my brothers or sisters — (imagine how it felt) for my parents to have your own child in danger in that way? And then you can't protect them and you couldn't save them?"

As Handler explained in Sight & Sound in 2010, Chet was hiking in the Grand Tetons, Wyoming, on a college graduation trip when he slipped and fell. He was 21.

In her interview with People and Entertainment Weekly, she recalled a fond memory of feeding him dinner when he came home from engineering school — of course, as a child her culinary skills were a bit limited. "I would make him cereal when he would come home late from school, from college, and I would put it in a bowl and act like I made him dinner, and look after him," she said.

Three decades on she's able to remember him and how the family came back together in the wake of his loss. "In hindsight it kept us really as a tight-knit group, because it was so tragic and awful," she said. "Ultimately, it was kind of a beautiful gift because we all value each other so much."

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