Lauren London is opening up about life after death.
For the premiere episode of Angie Martinez's podcast In Real Life, London, 37, shared her perspective on love after loss, talking to kids about grief and the advice that got her through Nipsey Hussle's funeral.
"I was going to wear sweats," London admitted, revealing that it was actually Diddy who encouraged her to get dressed up and represent Hussle during his service.
"He was like 'look Boog you have showed everybody what it looks like to hold a man down and to love him, now show them what it looks like when it all crumbles, that's your responsibility,'" she recalled.
Hussle, whose real name Ermias Asghedom, was shot and killed by Eric Holder in 2019 in front of his Marathon clothing store in Los Angeles, Calif.
Despite the words of encouragement, nothing could truly prepare London for the weight of such a personal tragedy.
"I always say the front row at the funeral is different," she said, explaining that the experience altered something deep inside of her. "It shifts your perspective on life, you know what I mean, makes you see that not only is life short, it's a gift."
After the service London remembers feeling another shift in her grief journey once she was alone with her new reality.
"When it was all done and it was over and everybody went back to their lives and it faded to black, then it got real, it was like 'Oh s***, this is real,'" she admitted
Even today, Lauren is still grappling with the way her life looks as everyone around her seems to continue on with life.
"It's the three years later for me that I feel really kicks in, the five years later, like, cause at first you're in shock and then there's a lot of attention and love around you and then people get back to their lives and then now you're like 'Well how do I get back to my life when it's shifted so much?'" London asked.
This realization doesn't mean London is unaware of how much support she has around her, but she is wary of pity disguised as sympathy.
"No one ever wants to feel like their particular situation is like the worst thing anyone else can experience because then it makes you feel so isolated in your human experience," she said. "The pity makes me feel pitiful."
It is also not lost on her that many people simply don't know how to talk about death — even though it's a universal experience.
"We don't have death etiquette. ... It's like the most foreign concept to us but the most common, You're going to die that's what's going to happen. There is no way out of here," she said.
Addressing mortality is never easy, but explaining the concept of death to a child can be an especially challenging parenthood milestone, especially in the face of senseless tragedy.
"I say the words transitioned, I always say that like you know daddy is everywhere and you know he feels us, we feel him and any time there is something you want to say, you might not hear him but you'll feel it and follow that guidance," London shared of the way she has chosen to explain Hussle's death to her children.
London has also been very transparent about her grief journey with her kids.
"I was very honest with them, this is life I'm not going to pretend this don't exist, this is sadness," she explained. "I'm very transparent with my kids because I don't want them to have a false reality of life you know what I mean I want them to be like strapped up and ready to go."
Through it all, though, London has never compromised when it comes to her children's happiness, citing it as the reason she is able to keep going on particularly difficult days.
"They deserve joy, why would I rob them of that? That gets me up," she said.
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