Editor’s note: If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or mental health matters, please call Canada’s Talk Suicide 1-833-456-4566.
Ellen DeGeneres fought back tears in her first public video statement since the death of beloved talk show personality and her friend Stephen “tWitch” Boss.
“Hey everybody. I just wanted to say the past 11 days have been really tough for everyone,” DeGeneres said in a video posted to her social media accounts on Friday. “Everyone is in pain and trying to make sense of it, and we’ll never make sense of it.”
Boss, the amiable DJ for “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and a dancer who rose to fame on “So You Think You Can Dance,” died earlier this month. He died by suicide, according to the LA County Medical Examiner.
His death was widely mourned by both figures in entertainment and the public at large, as Boss was known for his good nature and love for spreading joy through dance.
To honor him, DeGeneres said, “the best thing we can do is to laugh and hug each other and play games and dance and sing” — the things “he loved to do.”
“It seems impossible, but that’s how we honor him,” she said. “And hug each other and tell each other we love each other and let people know we’re there for them and check in with people.”
DeGeneres released a statement shortly after news of Boss’s death became public, saying she was “heartbroken” over his passing.
Boss began his DJ duties on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” in 2014, eventually going on to become a co-executive producer and occasional guest host.
“I know it’s not a happy holiday, but he was pure light — as everybody in the comments said. If you knew him, you knew that. If you didn’t know him, you saw it,” DeGeneres added on Friday. “Let’s honor him and think about him and send love to one another.”