Bruce Willis' Wife Emma Heming Talks 'Sadness' on His First Birthday Since Dementia Diagnosis
Bruce Willis marked his 68th birthday on Sunday, his first since he was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia. His wife, Emma Heming Willis, shared an emotional video with fans, noting her sadness on what should be a happy day. Heming, 44, spoke through tears as she told fans that she is not strong by choice, adding that she is also raising their two daughters, Mabel, 10, and Evelyn, 8, during this time.
"Today is my husband's birthday. I have started the morning by crying as you can see by my swollen eyes and snotty nose. I just think it's important that you see all sides of this," Heming began. Fans often tell her that she is "so strong" and they "don't know how you do it," but Heming noted that she was not given a choice. "I wish I was, but I'm also raising two kids in this," she said.
"Sometimes in our lives, we have to put our big girl panties on and get to it. And that's what I'm doing," Heming continued. "But I do have times of sadness, every day, grief every day, and I'm really feeling it today on his birthday." Heming said she was working on an Instagram reel for Willis, and it was a challenge to see past videos.
"I don't know why I do that to myself because the videos are like a knife in my heart. But as much as I do it for myself I do it for you because I know how much you love my husband," Heming said. She then reminded herself not to cry, adding, "But it means so much to me, so thank you."
"Today is one of those days of feeling the grief and sadness," Hemping captioned the video. "But the silver lining or the flip side is that I'm so lucky to feel your warmth and love that is directed to my husband and our family. I see your messages, your stories that you share, and all I can say is thank you. Your connection helps me and I hope it helps you in a small way to know that I see you and I deeply understand your journey as well."
A few hours later, Heming shared the reel she mentioned in the video. The montage included intimate home videos with Willis, set to Stevie Wonder's song "As." Hemping thanked fans for their birthday wishes in the caption.
"He is pure love. He is so loved. And I'll be loving him always. Happy Birthday my sweet," Heming wrote. "My birthday wish for Bruce is that you continue to keep him in your prayers and highest vibrations because his sensitive Pisces soul will feel it. Thank you so much for loving and caring for him too."
Willis' family announced he was diagnosed with aphasia in March 2022. In February, his family said he was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, which had progressed and the actor now struggles with communication. Since then, Heming has worked to raise awareness of her husband's condition and support for caregivers. In a March 7 video, she responded to critics accusing of trying to get her five minutes of fame by refusing to give in.
"I just saw something about me getting my five minutes which is great," Heming said. "Which means that you're listening. So I'm going to take my five minutes and I'm gonna turn it into 10 because I'm always going to advocate for my husband. And while I'm at it, I'm going to raise awareness around FTD and for caregivers who are our unsung heroes out there. I am going to turn my grief, and my anger, and my sadness and do something good, around something that feels less than."