Rickey Smiley’s emotions are just as raw now as they were almost three months ago when his son Brandon Smiley suddenly passed away at the age of 32.
From the outside, it seems as though the comedian has not missed a beat between juggling comedy shows and his syndicated radio show, all the while mourning the loss of his oldest son. But in moments of transparent reflection, Rickey has shared that every day without Brandon has been filled with grief.
Such was the case on May 2, when the stand-up comic shared a video of Brandon’s coffin being loaded into a hearse at a funeral home in Alabama for his Feb. 4 homegoing service, which was dubbed a standing ovation.
“Doing everything gave us closure. Still hurts every day. Still in shock,” he wrote.
Related: Rickey Smiley Says Burying His Oldest Son Brandon Smiley Has Triggered PTSD Leaving Him in Need of Counseling
Just as they have done on several other posts, fans showered the Alabama State University alum with messages validating his emotions and with words to uplift his spirits. They wrote:
“Your feelings are valid and understandable. Grief has no timeline. Be gentle with yourself. One day at a time. Praying for your peace.”
“Grieving takes a lifetime!”
“One moment at a time. That’s all you can do.”
Brandon was found unresponsive in his Birmingham residence on Jan. 29. A formal cause of death is still pending the results of a medical examiner’s toxicology report. However, Rickey said his son’s past struggles with addiction have led him to believe that Brandon died of an accidental overdose.
The “First Sunday” actor opened up about his son’s addiction issues in March during an appearance on the “Tamron Hall” show.
He said Brandon had been “just struggling for years” and “had been struggling probably since the 11th grade.” Since burying the aspiring comic, Rickey has gone to social media to share countless memories, including home videos and photos, of Brandon throughout his life.
Some of the most heartfelt clips show Brandon with his only child, a daughter named Storm. Rickey revealed last month that he had applied for grandparents rights to gain access to the 3-year-old he has not seen in nearly three months. He claims that the child’s mother has not allowed him to see his granddaughter.
“You’re hurting her [Storm], you’re hurting her. The best thing ever happen to me was having my grandparents around and just having wonderful grandparents,” he said during an Instagram Live, where he explained his motives for seeking the court order.
Rickey also revealed text messages he sent to Storm’s mother on Twitter. “I know you know I filed for grandparents rights so I can have a normal relationship with Storm, it’s’ good for her to be around and know her family. She is all we have left of Brandon, and seeing her on any weekend would bring us and her so much joy,” he wrote in one.
According to the screenshots he posted, his messages went unanswered over Easter weekend. Since then he has not publicly spoken out about the process of securing his grandparent rights.