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Katherine Schwarzenegger opens up about Kennedy family bond after cousin's death

Days after the tragic loss of her second cousin, Saoirse Kennedy Hill, the author takes a moment to celebrate her family's enduring connection.
Katherine Schwarzenegger / Saoirse Kennedy Hill
Getty Images/TODAY
/ Source: TODAY

Katherine Schwarzenegger is celebrating her family less than a week after the Kennedys have suffered yet another tragedy.

Last Thursday, Saoirse Kennedy Hill, the granddaughter of late New York Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and the second cousin of Schwarzenegger, died of an apparent drug overdose at the age of 22.

In the wake of that loss, Schwarzenegger says she feels "incredibly blessed" be a part of a close brood.

"After wiping away the tears, after the beautiful sunsets, there is always a new day," the 29-year-old wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of a sunrise taken at the family's compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. "It’s not the big events or pretty things that hold you up at the end of the day, it’s family. I feel so incredibly blessed to be part of such a loving, supportive and strong family that shows up in good times and in tough times."

Of course, one recent good time was Swarzenegger's own June wedding to actor Chris Pratt. As for the tough times, the Kennedy family has notably experienced a great many of those.

The nation stood alongside the Kennedys in their grief following the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy, as well as the assassination of his brother, the aforementioned Robert F. Kennedy, less than five years later.

Before their deaths, those famed siblings lost their brother Joseph Kennedy and sister Kathleen Cavendish to two separate plane crashes, which, decades later, would also be the fate of the president's only son, John F. Kennedy Jr.

And seven years prior to Hill's death, the family mourned the death of her aunt and wife of Robert Kennedy Jr., Mary Richardson Kennedy.

On Monday, Hill was laid to rest alongside her aunt.

Katherine Schwarzenegger / Saoirse Kennedy Hill
Funeral services for Saoirse Roisin Kennedy Hill were held at Our Lady of Victory Church in the Centerville section of Barnstable, MA on Aug. 5, 2019.Boston Globe via Getty Images

That barely begins to recap the many tragedies and losses the family, often referred to as American royalty, have endured since their rise to fame.

But as Schwarzenegger noted, after those terrible moments, they always rally around one another.

Following news of Hill's death, the Kennedy family wrote in a statement to NBC News that she "lit up our lives with her love, her peals of laughter and her generous spirit. We will love her and miss her forever."

And on Friday, Schwarzenegger's mother, TODAY's own Maria Shriver, took a moment to honor Hill on social media and, while doing so, hoped to impart an important message for others.

"Life is fragile and heartbreaking," she wrote. "It turns upside down in a minute. Love your children, hold them tight. Love your family, hold them close. Love your friends, keep them near. Be gentle with others, as so many are fragile and struggling. Actually, I think it’s best to assume everyone is struggling, so treat everyone with love, tenderness, and compassion."

Schwarzenegger closed out her own post with a note of praise for all of her relatives following their most recent loss.

"I love each and every one of them and am so grateful to have them in my life," she wrote.