On November 30, 2013, Paul Walker passed away after being involved in a fatal car crash that also took the life of his friend, Roger Rodas. His death was a devastating blow not only for his millions of fans, but also for his family. Walker was a remarkable man, which is why, four years after that tragic day, his death is still felt.
Since then, #VinDiesel has made himself the focus of that grief, to the point we forget he had an actual family that has quietly mourned him out of the public eye. Now, his mother, Cheryl, and his brother, Caleb, have opened up about the difficulties they had to overcome following his passing. The pair sat down for an interview with Dr. Oz. There, fighting back tears, Ms. Walker went into detail on what it was like the day of her son's death and the aftermath:
The Day Of The Accident
Cheryl Walker revealed she had seen her son earlier on that fateful day as he had earlier been over at her house. She was supposed to meet him and his daughter, Meadow, later in the evening to decorate their Christmas tree:
“I had had a really nice conversation with Paul that morning. He was in my home, he left to go to the event and so I was expecting him back in the early afternoon, evening. And we had plans with his daughter, too, to decorate a Christmas tree that night.”
As for how she found out about the horrifying car crash, she recalled being in her kitchen when a family friend walked into the room, looking upset:
“I think I was in the kitchen and then I heard somebody come in and I looked and it was a friend of mine. Somebody that Paul knew, too. [A] family friend. And she looked like she just lost somebody, you know, she looked very upset.”
Following that, two long-time friends of Paul arrived in her house. In fact, they were the same two men who tried to pull the actor free from the car before it burst into flames.
“And then other people started arriving, including the two young men that Paul grew up with that were trying to get him out of the car.”
She didn't go into detail about what happened after that—and neither do we need to hear it—but she did explain the difficult process of dealing with her son's death.
Coping With Paul's Death
Understandably, she was devastated. She revealed that while she never intended to take her own life, she had no desire to wake up in the morning, as that would have meant facing the brutal reality of her son being gone:
“I felt guilty for even feeling like that but I really honestly would wish that I didn’t have to wake up in the morning. I would never have taken my life but I really felt that way. Because when you wake up, you have to realize it’s real and you relive it all over again.”
After that, Walker's brother, Caleb, also shared his thoughts about Paul, and opened up about having to replace him in the #FastandFurious franchise:
Caleb Walker Speaks About His Time Playing His Brother
Following Paul Walker's passing, his brother, Caleb, was called in to film scenes as Brian, becoming the visual model to insert the actor in the remaining scenes of Fast 7. He revealed it was a special experience for him, filling in his brother's role, as Paul had been his role model. But in hindsight, he admits it might have been too early in the grieving process for him to have taken on that role:
“I always wanted to be like him growing up, and so stepping into his shoes was special, but it was too soon, you know, looking back at it. Like, it was, like, just a few months afterward.”
There was a silver lining for him taking on the role, though, as he says it was incredible to see just how much Paul's Fast and Furious family loved the actor:
“But the most special part was getting to know his other family that he had been working with for 15 years. Every cast member, every person on the set all had a special, unique bond with Paul.”
Losing a loved one is an incredibly difficult experience, and I can't imagine what Cheryl Walker had to go through after losing her son and Caleb, losing his brother. Now, even though Cheryl describes part of her struggle, that's just a small part of an incredibly hard journey. It takes a person with a whole lot of courage to get through that, so I'm glad to know her family and her are doing better, and hopefully, everything continues going great for them in the future.
#PaulWalker was a remarkable man, and he'll live on in our hearts, through his movies and through the ways in which he inspired and touched people,