Matt Brown, the eldest son of Alaskan Bush People star Billy Brown, broke his silence on his father's death in an emotional Instagram post Friday. Brown, 38, confirmed he reconciled with his dad, who died on Feb. 7 at age 68. Brown's appearances on Alaskan Bush People in recent years had been limited after he moved to California in 2018 to go to rehab. His decision to stay in California after completing rehab reportedly created a rift between him and his father.
In his three-minute video, Brown told fans his father was at home with his family "like he would have wanted" at the time of his death. "The truth is it hit me hard. I'm fortunate, though," Brown said. "I'm very lucky that before he passed, I knew that his health problems were getting worse and I had the hindsight to be able to reconcile with him and find closure with him before he passed." Brown said he "feels good in my heart" since his father died, "knowing that I took the opportunity to do the right thing."
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After a long pause, Brown said he realized he is not the only person who has lost somebody recently. "All over the world, people have experienced loss over this past year. A lot of it. Too much of it," he said, referring to the coronavirus pandemic. "Whether it's a family member or a friend or acquaintance, a bitter rival, or a teammate, loss it hurts. And so does the grief. The one thing I know for sure about grief is it's best not to do it alone and so I want you to know that while at night when I'm missing my dad, and I say a little prayer for him, that I'm including you and yours too."
Billy died at his Washington home on Feb. 7 after suffering a seizure. He was surrounded by his family and members of the Alaskan Bush People production team. "He was our best friend - a wonderful and loving dad, granddad, and husband and he will be dearly missed," Brown's younger brother Bear Brown wrote on Instagram. "He lived his life on his terms, off the grid, and off the land, and taught us to live like that as well. We plan to honor his legacy going forward and to continue with his dream."
Brown struggled with addiction and went to rehab in late 2018. A few months later, it was reported that he chose to stay in California and was not interested in moving back with his family. Billy reportedly told Brown he had to stay sober in order to come back to Alaskan Bush People. In October 2019, he was seen back in Washington, where the family moved to after matriarch Ami Brown's cancer battle. Brown infrequently posts on social media, and his message about his father was his first video since Jan. 19.