The daughter of actor Bruce Willis has shared a heart-wrenching revelation about her father’s health, expressing her emotions and the challenges that lie ahead in an essay she penned.
Earlier this year, 68-year-old Willis disclosed his diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia, just a year after retiring from acting due to an initial aphasia diagnosis. In a statement, his family acknowledged that difficulties in communication were just one symptom of the disease he faces. They also highlighted the cruelty of frontotemporal dementia (FTD), the most common form of dementia affecting individuals under 60, and expressed hope for future advancements in treatment.
In a poignant essay published in Vogue, Willis’ daughter, Tallulah, opened up about her father’s condition and how she had sensed something was amiss for quite some time.
She described the family’s announcement about Bruce’s aphasia diagnosis in early 2022 and the subsequent revelation of frontotemporal dementia, a progressive neurological disorder that gradually affects cognition and behavior.
Tallulah confessed that she had sensed her father’s unresponsiveness long before the official diagnosis. Initially, the family attributed it to Hollywood-induced hearing loss, jokingly saying, “Speak up! Die Hard messed with Dad’s ears.”
As the unresponsiveness persisted and became more pronounced, Tallulah admitted that she sometimes took it personally, believing that her father had lost interest in her. She blamed her adolescent insecurities and irrational thoughts, thinking she was not beautiful enough for her mother, Demi Moore, and not interesting enough for her father.
Amid her father’s silent struggle, Tallulah battled her own demons of body dysmorphia and anorexia. Later, she was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, a condition that impairs emotional regulation and stability in relationships. Reflecting on her own illness, Tallulah confessed that she had responded to Bruce’s decline with avoidance and denial, actions she is not proud of, but attributes to her own personal struggles and illness at the time.
Tallulah acknowledged that, despite the challenges, her father still recognizes her, albeit with occasional “bad days,” and she cherishes those moments. However, she understands that trials are on the horizon, and she recognizes that this is the beginning of the grieving process. She described the ever-changing nature of her father’s condition and the unpredictable shifts it brings. Yet, she sees this as a unique and meaningful time for her family and expresses gratitude for being present during this phase.
In her heartfelt essay, Tallulah shared the raw emotions and personal experiences surrounding her father’s health journey. She expressed her love for her father, her struggles with her own mental health, and her commitment to being there for him during this challenging time.