“They say seven stages of grief. I think it’s more like 77,” the actress, 49, says on a new episode of The Dr. Oz Show airing on Thursday.
“I’m a mother of five people and I am an actress and I’m directing my first movie and I’m doing many things so I have to go on with life,” she says. “But I do find myself seeing those pictures just now … I miss that. I miss her around. I miss being able to call and, you know, make a joke about politics, frankly, anything.”
The half-sisters share a father, singer Eddie Fisher, but have different mothers. Joely’s mother is actress, producer and director Connie Stevens, who was married to Eddie from 1967 – 1969, while Carrie’s mother is actress Debbie Reynolds, who was married to Fisher from 1955 to 1959.
Joely went on to describe the last time she saw her sister before her death. “Well, I saw her in November for her birthday and we had a grand time, the typical Carrie party,” she remembered.
Shortly after Carrie’s death, Joely wrote an op-ed about their relationship, and spoke about the last texts she received from her half-sister. “They were from the night before she got on her fateful flight and I’ve saved them, screen-shotted, backed them up onto, you know, other hard drives because I don’t ever want to lose them,” she explained.
“We talked about politics,” she continued. “We talked about our mothers, who were frail, both of them, and our children, and promised to see each other at Christmas, which I upheld. I was there … I think she knew I was there.” Carrie was in the hospital at the time and died two days later on Dec. 27.
Joely also spoke about her half-sister’s mental health issues, saying that Carrie turned to humor to help cope with her bipolar disorder. “I think you either go dark or you go funny,” she explained.
“You could lose yourself in tragedy and in sort of your own demons and she was determined not to, I think,” she added.
Since her death, Joely says she’s begun to appreciate the impact Carrie’s perseverance had on fans. “I’m finding that, not only were people fans, they looked to her for solace and for finding the funny and for knowing that if she could survive, that they could,” she said, adding, “And with her not surviving, they’re looking for me.”