There isn't anyone who can replace your mother and when Julia Robert's mother died, it was a crushing blow to her. Especially since she passed away from the same disease that took her father — cancer.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on December 12, 2019. It has since been updated.
They were the ones who held you when you cried, tickled you until you broke into a smile, were there for you when you had your first heartbreak or failure, cheered you on when you needed the support. They are not just your parents but your source of unconditional love. When they pass away though, the agony of their loss can bring you to your knees. You see them in everything you do and everywhere you go, wishing you could see them just one last time. Of course, not everyone had parents like that but some lucky ones did. One of those lucky people was actress Julia Roberts. And when she lost her mom to cancer, it left her devastated.
The Runaway Bride actress was quite close to her mother, Betty Lou Bredemus. She learned so much from her, something that helped her when she was raising her own kids. The 52-year-old Golden Globe award winner observed how her mother had worked hard to raise her and her siblings and was awed at how easy she made it seem. “My mom worked a full-time job and raised three girls pretty much on her own,” she told People. “My brother [actor Eric Roberts] is older, so he was gone and out of the house. She never showed the strain of it.”
And as she struggled to raise her own kids, twins Hazel and Phinnaeu and youngest son, Henry, she had turned to her own mother for strength. "I was like, 'Mom, how did you do this?'" said Roberts. "And instead of saying, 'Well, you just have to apply yourself and it takes effort,' she goes, 'It's called daycare, honey.' And I was so appreciative and so grateful she didn't tell me some sage, bulls*** story about what it's like to be a great mother."
But then in 2015, the Erin Brockovich actress had to say her final goodbye to her mother after the latter gave in to lung cancer. And when the mother-of-three opened up about her pain, she had to speak through her tears to People. "I think about her all the time," the Smurfs star said. "And the kids talk about her a lot." She also revealed that she felt like her mother was sending signs to her from heaven. "It’s funny because her name was Betty and I feel like lately, she just crosses my mind, and I’ll turn and I see something that says ‘Betty,’ just unexpectedly," Roberts said. "In Africa, I saw the name twice when I was thinking about her."
While the loss of her mother was painful enough, it was worse as just months prior, she lost her 37-year-old half-sister, Nancy Motes, as well. Though her relationship with Motes was not on the best footing, the actress was still affected by it. And having lost her half-sister and mother barely a year apart, it was heartbreaking for Roberts. But cancer hadn't just taken her mother's life.
As a young 10-year-old, she saw her loving father fight the same battle before giving in to it. According to the Daily Mail, at a Stand Up To Cancer event in 2012, she said, "I don't remember his illness, really, but I remember him so dearly and vividly." And though she was very young when he passed away, she still feels the grief of not having him around when she was growing up. The Pretty Woman actress also revealed that it hurts to know that her kids won't have their grandfather around to love them. "That's where you feel the real ripoff. He's not here to be a grandparent."
For the past few years, even their grandmother wasn't there to shower them in affection. And it's painful for Roberts to think that her kids won't be able to share any experiences that one has with their grandparents. However, the actress does carry her mother around within her. Speaking to ExtraTV, she mentioned that she would do anything to protect her children. “Oh, anything! I mean, that is the universal connective tissue of mothers and mother figures in the world. There is nothing you would not do to help, save, support, hold your child close."
Well, it seems like the Ocean's Twelve star is channeling her mother quite well and will do anything to make sure her kids don't feel a lack of love from her or her partner, Daniel Moder.