‘Everything Is Happening So Fast’: Luke Perry’s Daughter Shares Grief After Losing Beloved Dad

March 7, 2019 Updated: March 18, 2019

“A lot has happened in this past week for me,” Luke Perry‘s heartbroken daughter Sophie began. The 18-year-old has opened up for the first time since her father’s unexpected death on Monday, March 4, 2019. Perry was only 52 years old.

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Sophie is reeling. “Everything is happening so fast,” she shared in a post on Instagram. “I made it back from Malawi just in time to be here with my family.” Sophie had been in Malawi assisting on a volunteer-run community project for a month when she received news of Perry’s devastating stroke, and immediately rushed home to be by her father’s side. Her mom, Rachel “Minnie” Sharp, was also with Perry and their extended family in the name of love, solidarity, and much-needed moral support.

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A representative confirmed in a statement released after Perry’s passing that the actor was “surrounded by his children Jack and Sophie, fiancée Wendy Madison Bauer, ex-wife Minnie Sharp, mother Ann Bennett, step-father Steve Bennett, brother Tom Perry, sister Amy Coder, and other close family and friends.”

Sophie shared a touching recent photo of herself with her father the day after Perry died, and, showing extraordinary grace through her grief, thanked her followers for sending messages of love and support. “In the past 24 hours I have received an overwhelming amount of love and support,” Sophie wrote. “I cannot individually respond to the hundreds of beautiful and heartfelt messages, but I see them, and appreciate you all for sending positivity to my family and I.”

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The wise 18-year-old echoed the sentiment of millions in her next sentence: “I’m not really sure what to say or do in this situation, it’s something you aren’t ever given a lesson on how to handle.” Sophie’s task is tougher than most, given that her and her family’s bereavement is being experienced under the gaze of the public eye. “[Bear] with me,” she continued, “and know that I am grateful for all the love.”

Perry’s family’s representative was equally effusive in thanking fans for their support: “The family appreciates the outpouring of support and prayers that have been extended to Luke from around the world,” they said. The family at large, understandably, wishes to grieve in private.

It was well known during his lifetime and perhaps better known after his passing that Perry was a benevolent man. In homage to his generous spirit, Perry’s family have asked that anybody wishing to offer their condolences is invited to make a donation to either Fight Colorectal Cancer or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, in Perry’s name.

Perry became an advocate for preventative colorectal cancer testing after he had a colonoscopy in 2015. The test revealed pre-cancerous growths, and Perry championed the cause ever since.

It’s clear that Perry’s daughter Sophie has a heart of gold, just like her father. “I am grateful for all the love,” she shared. “Just, being grateful quietly.”

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