When Mourning Philip Seymour Hoffman, Don’t Forget The Real Victims Are His Three Kids

Philip Seymour Hoffman out with his family in West Village, NYCI think by now we are all aware of the terrible news of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s passing in what was believed to be a drug overdose. I am a big Philip Seymour Hoffman fan myself, and the whole scenario just made me sad after hearing that he’d been sober for 23 years but had recently relapsed.

Even though no one knows exactly what went on, in my mind, I made up a little story about how he was probably just trying to get a fix or two before he kicked the habit again. He didn’t mean to. He’s a good guy, and everybody loves him. It is so very sad that one of his “mistakes” actually ended his life.

So everyone in America is sad and talking about how great his career was, but people are missing the most important point of all. Are you even aware that Philip Seymour Hoffman had three children? YOUNG children? With his partner of 15 years, he had three little kids: a 10-year-old son, a seven-year-old daughter, and a five-year-old daughter.

Another article reported that he was last seen alive at eight PM on Saturday night, and he was supposed to pick up his kids on Sunday. He didn’t show up, and that’s when he was found dead with a needle in his arm.

At this point, I’m changing the little story about him that I had in my head. I still feel such sadness and compassion for him, but it’s really not about how a great actor had his career cut short any longer. His kids were waiting for him to show up, and he was dead. Later on, they will probably find out that it was from a drug overdose, and that’s even more heartbreaking.

I can’t put myself in his children’s shoes exactly, but I do have a similar memory about my dad that has fucked me up to this day. One weekend early after my parents’ divorce, when I was about 12, my dad got mad at my mom and never came to pick us up. I didn’t understand what was going on at the time, and I’ll literally waited by the phone and looked out the window for his car the entire weekend. He never showed. That memory for me is still very, very painful, but it ended semi-positively because my dad is still alive.

That’s the scenario that I have playing out in my head for Philip Seymour Hoffman’s kids. They were waiting for him to come pick them up, and he never came.

(Image: celebritybabyscoop.com)

You can reach this post's author, Bethany Ramos, on twitter.
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    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      so amazingly sad

    • Ava

      Terribly, terribly sad. My heart always goes out to the kids. Never could understand how people do things like this when children are involved. Beyond comprehension. Poor babies.

      • Rachel Sea

        Because addiction is a disease. It is no more intentional than a parent developing diabetes or cancer.

      • Marisa

        Addiction is a disease, but drug use is a choice…let’s be compassionate, but not foolish. Addiction is nothing like the horrors of diabetes or cancer.

      • Rachel Sea

        It is not a choice, and if you had ever watched someone die slowly from their addictions, as I have many times, you would know that it is at least as horrible as either diabetes or cancer – more so because people such as yourself believe mistakenly that it is their fault, which means that effective treatment can be almost impossible to get.

      • Ava

        This. Yes.

      • Surfaces

        He was an addict for a long time before he ever had kids, and it’s not as simple as stopping just because you’ve become a parent.

    • LadyClodia

      I did not know he had kids, so yeah that makes it so much sadder. I hope that everyone in their family gets the help they need to deal with his tragic and traumatic passing.

    • EX

      That image (of the kids waiting for their dad who would never come) just made me cry. That’s so so so sad. It really puts things in perspective.

      • Bethany Ramos

        Writing this made me REALLY sad. Bad start to a Monday. :(

    • Zettai

      I agree that his family are the victims here… I can’t imagine the looks on those kids faces when they were told why daddy wasn’t coming. I can’t imagine the look on his partner’s face when they had to break the news. We do a lot of selfish things as humans but I think one of the worst, especially as a parent, is to risk your life and health and the well-being of your family for drugs.

    • JLH1986

      Reading things like this makes me wonder if my clients (who are substance abusing men) who just haven’t really been in their kids lives are doing them a favor in some ways. Certainly its hard without a father but at least their kids won’t see them struggle and/or die and there is hope that mom (in a perfect world) finds a good partner that loves them.

      • Unforgettable

        I think watching your dad fall before your eyes is the worst thing a child can see.
        It’s better that they’re absentees

      • Rachel Sea

        Depends on the kid. Sometimes uncertainty is the worst possible thing. I’m the child of addicts, the niece of addicts, the granddaughter of addicts, the cousin of addicts…basically I can count on one hand the number of people in my very large extended family who didn’t abuse alcohol or heroin.or weed or a combination of some. The people who I watched succumb to the worst aspects of addiction were people I could understand. When they fucked up because they were blitzed, I got it. The people who slipped away and quietly ODed out of sight are the ones that I have never entirely gotten over.

      • JLH1986

        That’s a good point. My own father was an alcoholic, he died from the disease several years ago. When he was sober he was an amazing dad. When he wasn’t…he wasn’t. But I do have memories of him being happy and healthy and when he passed away it was more a blessing than anything else. I just can’t imagine how those kids are feeling.

      • Rachel Sea

        My great-uncle was a junkie for 50 years, and while we missed him when he died, and were sad, no one who had been close to him really had to grieve, because in our various ways we had already gone through the stages. The more distant friends and family were distraught, and many of them thought us heartless for not crying. They have fond imaginings of the man he was, and it’s made it harder for them to find closure.

        I can only guess, based on my experience, but I expect those poor kids are going to have to grieve the loss of their dad over again at every missed milestone in their lives. I hope they have a lot of support, from people who can understand.

    • CrazyFor Kate

      That’s so awful. I had no idea his kids were so young. It’s just a tragic situation all around.

    • Rachel Sea

      My heart breaks for them. Addiction is a disease that is never truly healed. Addicts may go into remission, but the risk of relapse is always there.

      I really fucking hate heroin.

    • Brainspace

      If we’re saying that his children are the true victims here, perhaps we could respect the by not hypothesizing what his children felt or their reactions as they waited for him to show up. I find it really disturbing to capitalize on his death and their experience of losing a father to addiction in this way.

    • Surfaces

      Well, I would’ve said the real victims were his family, I wouldn’t put it specifically on his kids.

    • Porkchop

      I understand feeling sad for any children who’ve been through a tragedy, including these (and that picture did make me sad(der)), but no one should be blamed or feel guilty for presenting this as the loss of an artist rather than the loss of a father. There’s nothing disrespectful about the loss his audience experiences, whether or not they consider his children to be any of their business.

    • aCongaLine

      SO sad. I read about it, and instantly thought “Oh no! He has little kids!” and my heart broke for them. Kids don’t deserve that. (No one does.) I’m sad for PSH, and for his family and friends, and for the roles that he would have been so great in in the future, but mostly, I’m sad for his kids.

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