The star says coping with the loss of his son is a daily struggle

By Steve Helling
November 09, 2009 12:00 PM
Eric Charbonneau/WireImage

Speaking publicly for the first time since their 16-year-old son, Jett, died on Jan. 2 after hitting his head on a bathtub during a seizure, John Travolta says that coping with the devastating loss is a daily struggle.

“We’ve been working very hard every day as a family to heal,” Travolta said in an interview with USA Today. Among his and wife Kelly Preston’s coping tools are daily religious counseling sessions.

Travolta, 55, a Scientologist, says he broke his silence to focus on his daughter, Ella Bleu. Ella, 9, costars with her parents in her feature-film debut, the comedy Old Dogs, which opens Nov. 25.

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“We decided it was okay to come out and promote, to introduce her to the world and to give her a beautiful future in film,” Travolta said.

Friends, Family Faith

Preston, 47, said that the grieving process is always evolving. “It’s a tricky thing,” she noted. “Sometimes, something that’s right for the moment is not right the next day. Being with people who are important to you, being with people that you love, I think that’s what has primarily helped us the most. Sometimes, being alone, too.”

“The outpouring of love from, really, worldwide has been extraordinary,” she told the newspaper. “It’s been our friends, our family, our church. We partake in spiritual counseling pretty much daily.”

COVER STORY: John Travolta: Living With Grief
Above all, Travolta senses some progress as the family moves forward. “We have our own way of doing it,” he said, “and it has been helping.”

A friend of the actor tells PEOPLE, “What s gotten them through? Their counseling, their love for each other, the love they ve gotten from their friends … but have they healed? No. You never get over it.