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‘I Don’t Wish This on My Worst Enemy’: Rickey Smiley Opens Up About How His Family Is Coping with the Loss of His Son Brandon Smiley

Rickey Smiley is doing his best to deal with the unexpected passing of his son, Brandon Smiley.

According to, Brandon, 32, was found unresponsive by a friend inside his Birmingham residence on Jan. 29. Jefferson County Chief Deputy Coroner Bill Yates said a cause of death is pending from the outcome from additional tests, however, there were no signs of obvious trauma and foul play is not suspected.

Rickey Smiley
(L-R) Malik Smiley, Ryn Smiley, D’Essence Smiley, Brandon Smiley, Rickey Smiley. (Photo: Rickeysmileyofficial/Instagram.)

During an Instagram Live posted on Feb. 2, Rickey shared how he was navigating grief while preparing for Brandon’s funeral. “I don’t wish this on my worst enemy,” said the comedian about the heartbreaking ordeal.

He added that he was en route to the funeral home after having to grab items for Brandon’s burial. “I went back there and pulled those underwear and T-shirts like he was getting ready to go to college,” the radio personality explained.

The grieving father continued, “This is to bury him in. This the last underwear, socks, T-shirt he gone put on and that’s gone be it. The last d—n thing you can do for your son [is] make sure he got his suit, underwear, socks, T-shirt.”

Brandon is survived by his 3-year-old daughter, Storm, his mother, Brenda, and his siblings. In a previous post, Rickey said his son Malik was taking his elder son’s death the hardest. “My kids are confused. They don’t know what to do,” said Rickey. “He [Malik] got his own issues. He’s fighting to stay alive because he’s dealing with a lot, dealing with depression and anxiety.”

Rickey’s fans gained a bit of insight on his family dynamic over the course of five seasons of his reality show “Rickey Smiley For Real.” Aside from his career as an entertainer, Rickey made sure to highlight the bond he shared with each of his children, especially in the moments he gave Brandon guidance. In the video, he noted that he never would have imagined a day where he would have to bury one of his kids. “Whoever would have thought this? It’s like a freaking nightmare,” said the “Friday After Next” actor.

He went on to add, “You know I’m good, I ain’t broken down or nothing or I haven’t broken down yet. I have my moments where I cry or well up [or] whatever. A man just have to keep pressing, have to keep going. For a woman, it might be sad for them but for a man that’s from the projects, like a real G, like, man, this f-ed up, and that’s how I feel. I don’t feel like it’s sad, I feel like it’s f-ed up that I go to do this. … It’ll make you sad,. but it’s all about the perspective you look at it. Like, I feel real f-ed up.”

Funeral services will be held at noon on Feb. 4 at Faith Chapel in Birmingham. It will also be livestreamed. A public viewing will also take place that day from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Arrington Funeral Home. The beloved son will be laid to rest at Forest Hill Cemetery.

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