Wendy Williams confirmed Monday that her mother, Shirley Williams, had passed away.
Making the announcement on her show, “The Wendy Williams Show,” she said her mother died “beautifully and peacefully and surrounded by love. She didn’t suffer, not one bit.”
“My mom passed away many, many, many, many weeks ago,” Williams said. “You know how you lose track of the day and time? All I know was it was a long time ago. The five of us, my mom, dad, my siblings, the five of us — she will always be here.”
Williams emphasized the strength of their bond — an enduring and close friendship.
“Gone is the best mother, the best girlfriend, that a girl could ever have,” she said, holding back tears. “I feel fortunate that I had her in my life all of my 56 years.”
Williams said her family was handling the news admirably, including her 89-year-old father, Thomas, who was married to her mother for 65 years. Williams revealed that she was keeping her emotions in check to stay resilient for her 20-year-old son, Kevin Jr, she revealed on her show.
“I gotta be strong for my son because this is his first death. He does not know death, he’s 20. He does not know death,” she said. “He knows his grandmother has passed away, but he doesn’t know this in his life. So if I get on the phone breaking down and hooping and hollering and rolling around on the ground — I’m Baptist so you know we do all that. Pull out a tambourine, if I do all that to him, then he’s going to be worried about me. And if he worries about me then he’s going to be worried about then his grandfather and his aunt. He’s going to be worried about everybody in the family.”
She continued, “I’m giving him the strength he needs. It’s not like I don’t cry. I just don’t cry in front of him regarding this particular thing.”
In a now-deleted post on Instagram, family friend Courtney Brown shared the news of Shirley’s passing, as well as a photo of Shirley with her grandmother.
“One of my granny’s best friends for 83 years passed away… Mrs. Shirley Williams,” read the caption. “Always available for my granny and our family, she flew in to share this beautiful speech at granny’s 100th birthday. Mr. and Mrs. Williams is truly what the kids now call #CoupleGoals.”
Brown continued in her post, “May she rest peacefully and prayers to [Wendy Williams] and the entire family.”
During her commemoration, Williams made clear that while her mother may no longer be around physically, she still feels her presence in all areas of her life.
“She’s everywhere,” she said. “First thing I think about in the morning, last thing I think about before I go to sleep.”