Chelsea Handler learned a lot from her oldest brother, Chet Handler, in the 22 years that he was alive.
In a heartfelt Instagram post on Tuesday, the outspoken comedian showed her softer side in a tribute to her sibling, who fell off a cliff and died in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, over three decades ago. “Thirty-three years ago this month, my brother Chet died. He was 22, and the oldest of 6 kids,” she wrote to accompany a photo slideshow of Chet. “We were never six again, only five. The number was never the right number again.”
Handler said it was because of this family tragedy that she learned “how to live and love and laugh.” She also noted other ways she grew as a person. “Show up, stand up, love up, argue, fight, make up, show up again,” she declared in her post. “Go to bat for people. Tell them you love them. Defend your friends. Stand up for yourself. Give away the things you have in excess. Give away the things you love the most.”
Handler concluded, “This is the only chance we get. Make it count. Live a little.”
The message garnered a lot of comments from the talk show host’s followers, including some of her famous friends. “This is such a beautiful tribute to him,” Jessica Chastain — whose sister Juliet committed suicide in 2003 — remarked. “My sister taught me the same things.”
Sarah Paulson also responded to the post, writing: “Chelsea Handler, important and so moving.”
In addition, Katy Perry commented: “So beautiful.”
The tribute further resonated with a lot of Handler’s fans who had lost loved ones. “Thank you @chelseahandler. I lost my older brother last year and we are now two not three. This was powerful,” one of her Instagram followers commented.
“I had no idea. I lost my younger brother and I learned very similar things about life,” another commenter wrote. “Love you, Chelsea!!”
In April, ET had a candid conversation with Handler about where she is in her life. Here’s what she had to say about being single in Hollywood at age 42:
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