Carol Burnett looks back on how her daughter lived her life to the fullest right before her death

By Alexia Fernandez
July 30, 2020 08:00 AM
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Carol Burnett and Carrie Hamilton

Carol Burnett is opening up about how her daughter lived her life to the fullest right before her death.

In PEOPLE's exclusive first look at AARP The Magazine's August and September 2020 issue, the iconic comedian looks back on how her daughter, Carrie, overcame drug addiction and learned the value of her life.

"My daughter Carrie got into drugs. In that situation, don’t be their best friend," Burnett, 87, told the magazine. "When we got her into a third rehab, oh, she hated my guts! You have to love them enough to let them hate you."

Carrie, who died in January 2002, "got sober before her 18th birthday, and we had a good 20 years," Burnett said.

"We were joined at the hip for a while there," the actress continued. "Carrie died of cancer at 38. But in the hospital, she said, 'Every day I wake up and decide today I’m going to love my life.' And that was her mantra."

Carrie died from pneumonia, a complication from lung cancer that spread to her brain.

Burnett previously spoke about her daughter in a 2018 interview with PEOPLE, saying, “I think of her every day.”

“She never leaves me,” the comedian said. “I just feel her.”

Burnett said losing her daughter is not something she’ll ever get over.

“You don’t get over it, but you cope,” she said at the time. “What else can you do? When Carrie died, I didn’t want to get out of bed for a while, but I had a play to finish that we started that Hal Prince was going to direct. I owed it to Carrie, and I owed it to Hal.”

Burnett will next appear in the Netflix drama All Together Now, available to stream on Aug. 28.