EntertainmentChelsea Handler opens up about brother's death in raw memoir, 'Life Will Be the Death of Me'

00:06  10 april  2019
00:06  10 april  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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Are you there, world? It's her, Chelsea.

Comedian Chelsea Handler has written about intimate topics like one-night stands, but her first memoir, "Life Will Be the Death of Me: ... and you too!" (Spiegel & Grau, 256 pp.) is her most revelatory yet. In the book, out Tuesday, she opens the door to epiphanic therapy sessions, details the impact of her brother's unexpected death and addresses her personal shortcomings.

"I didn’t want to write a book until I had something really to say, because I felt like I had been getting away with murder with my career for so long that it was time to pony up and actually do something of import," Handler, 44, tells USA TODAY.

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Chelsea Handler opens up to Salon’ s D. Watkins on “Salon Talks” about bringing meaning back to her life this year, after burning out from stand- up and in a state of despair after Trump’ s election. Handler ’ s new memoir “ Life Will Be the Death of Me ,” available now, offers both hilarious and vulnerable

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"This is the most real that I could get."

Chelsea Handler opens up about brother's death in raw memoir, 'Life Will Be the Death of Me'© Provided by USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc. Handler sought out psychiatrist Dr. Dan Siegel, featured on her former Netflix series "Chelsea" (2016-2017), after becoming enraged following the 2016 presidential election. After a few sessions, Handler realized how helpful Siegel could be.

"I thought I could go through life without ever having gone to therapy," she recalls. "Like, I’m tougher than that, I’m smarter than that. I don’t have to visit my childhood stuff.

"It turned out, the election represented to me the world being unhinged, which was exactly what happened to me when my brother died when I was 9 years old," she says.  "He told me he’d come back, and he said he’d never leave me with these people, referring to my parents ... and he was just going hiking and that I would always have him, and he never came back."

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Handler's brother Chet, the eldest of six kids, fell and died while on a hiking trip in 1984. Despite Handler's belief that she had "everything I could possibly need," including a successful career, she had yet to face her brother's death.

"I started coming home and writing down the stuff that Dan, my doctor, was telling me about (how) I was emotionally attached to this 9-year-old girl and that was the reason I had become the way I’d become," Handler says, "because I’m so resilient and I want to be so strong and I wrote it because I thought, 'Wow if I’m going through this, then how many other haven’t dealt with their pain?'"

For Handler, her brother was "kind of my protector, kind of a father figure, a big brother, a crush, your first boyfriend."

After his death, her family felt incomplete.

"You just feel broken," she says. But Handler wouldn't allow herself to cry in front of others. She says her father was "a wreck" at the time, which bothered her.

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Chelsea Handler shared a milestone moment on Twitter after visiting a national park for the first time since her brother ' s death . I’ve avoided our national parks my whole life because of the way my brother died, and this year, I decided that was over. I’m glad these were the last kinds of reminders

I went up to my bedroom, opened up my sliding glass doors, grabbed my vape pen, and turned on From the book LIFE WILL BE THE DEATH OF ME by Chelsea Handler . "But the show she' s doing will be based primarily on the subjects she addresses in her latest book, a memoir titled ' Life Will Be

Chelsea Handler opens up about brother's death in raw memoir, 'Life Will Be the Death of Me'© 2018 Gary Gershoff Chelsea Handler attends the 2018 Clio Awards at The Ziegfeld Ballroom on October 3, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images) "I didn’t like seeing my father weak. I’d already lost my brother; I couldn’t lose my dad too, and I did. My dad never recovered," she says. "I dealt with it by just, if anybody talked about Chet or mentioned him, I’d just leave the room. I’d get on my bike, and I’d ride my bike for hours around the neighborhood. I could cry on my bike, but I wouldn’t let anyone see me cry in person."

Chet's death represented Handler's first breakup, she says, which in turn affected her future romantic relationships, a topic addressed in the book.

"I don’t trust men because the most important person in my life lied to me," she tells USA TODAY, referring to her brother's declaration that he would come back from his trip. "So for me to get to a place where I can admit I actually do want to be in a relationship – I’d love to be in love – is a huge thing.

"I always thought that was a sign of weakness, and it’s like no, it’s actually a sign of strength to say that. You don’t have to say it like I need it. It's like I want it. I’m 44 years old now. I’ve done a lot of work on myself, and I will continue to, and I do want to share my life with somebody. Why do I need to be single and proud all the time? I deserve to be in love with somebody."

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What Handler doesn't see in her future is a career in politics.

"No, I can’t survive on that salary,” she deadpans.

And while she isn't shy about tweeting her criticisms of President Donald Trump, "Life Will Be the Death of Me," isn't devoted to taking down the commander in chief.

"He already stole a year of life, so I wasn’t gonna give him my book, too," Handler explains.

If Trump's presidency did give Handler a gift, it nudged her toward cannabis and, subsequently, a new business venture. She has a cannabis line that she estimates will arrive this summer. Handler, a resident of California, where recreational marijuana is legal, revealed to The Hollywood Reporter in February that she was partnering with NorCal Cannabis Company for her line of weed.

"When I was at that level of outrage, alcohol and outrage are not a good mix," she says, adding she began taking sleeping pills and then tried cannabis as an alternative. "It’s cut my drinking in half."

Handler also has an upcoming documentary on white privilege, which she says is slated for release on Netflix in late summer or early fall. Handler says she traveled to Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi to explore the topic.

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"When I realized how rarefied my life has been and how much success I’ve had for basically being a loudmouth and being inappropriate, it made me really think, 'God you are cruising through life,' " she says. "I just had an awakening. I just thought, 'What am I putting out in the world?'

"I want to put out stuff that makes us think, and I want to think. I want my opinions changed, and I want to be a great advocate for people of color, and I wasn’t thinking about that enough. I wasn’t thinking about anyone but myself for a long time."

This week Handler embarks on a comedy tour promoting her book. At each stop Handler will be interviewed by a famous face.

"I want to have conversations on stage where I’m there, and I’m not dreading it," she says.

Handler is putting in the work to create a new reality for herself.

"For so long I had a TV show and that was my whole identity. I had to really think about what does that mean, why am I so addicted to this fame and this success? What if I didn’t have it? What would I be then?" she says. "And that’s scary if all you have – you know I didn’t get married, proudly, didn’t have children, proudly, and now I’m like, 'Well wait, all I’ve got is this? This is how everyone knows me?' And I just didn’t think that was gonna cut it."

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A 12-year-old is facing murder charges in the shooting death of a 10-year-old brother in Texas, authorities said. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The shooting occurred Saturday in Conroe, the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. Deputies responding to the call found the boy with a single gunshot wound to the chest and transported him to a hospital, where he died. The motive of the shooting is unclear.

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