While attending The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation and SAG-AFTRA World Aids Day Panel event in Los Angeles on Wednesday, the actor explained how his family has found solace surrounding the actor and transgender activist’s unexpected death.
“[My family and I] are doing alright,” the actor, 45, told PEOPLE. “Things like that, in the best case scenario, bring families closer together. It definitely did that for us. Rosanna [Arquette] is really spearheading a foundation for Alexis which we’re going to announce soon, the next few days.”
In September, Alexis died from complications related to AIDS, after “suffering for a long time,” according to a source.
“The whole family rallied around her,” the source previously told PEOPLE. “And in the end they were always there to support her. Everyone knew [her death] was imminent. It was a matter of time.”
Following her death, the family — including siblings David, Patricia, Rosanna and Richmond — released a statement: “Alexis was born as Robert, our brother,” part of the statement read. “We loved him the moment he arrived. But he came in as more than a sibling — he came as our great teacher. As Alexis transitioned into being a woman, she taught us tolerance and acceptance. As she moved through her process, she became our sister, teaching us what real love is.”
“We learned what real bravery is through watching her journey of living as a trans woman. We came to discover the one truth — that love is everything.”
Though Arquette says the grief is “very real,” he continues to look at the positive.
“I learned everything from Alexis,” he said. “I learned art. I learned comedy. I learned how to be real, to be honest. I learned acceptance, which was a big theme in general. I learned to be myself and own who you are — be true to you.”