Gwyneth Paltrow Recalls 'Physical' Grieving Process After Dad's Death: 'It Was Pretty Messed Up'

Gwyneth Paltrow's father Bruce Paltrow died in 2002 at age 58 after a years-long battle with throat cancer

Gwyneth Paltrow (L) and her father Bruce
Gwyneth and Bruce Paltrow. Photo: George De Sota/Getty Images

Gwyneth Paltrow is opening up about her grieving process nearly 20 years since the death of her dad Bruce Paltrow.

On the April edition of Holly Willoughby's By the Light of The Moon podcast, the Oscar winner, 49, looked back on losing her filmmaker father Bruce, who had a years-long bout of throat cancer before dying in 2002 at age 58. She said her initial grief at the time was "so physical" and she "thought it was gonna split me open."

After the funeral, she went back to London where she was living, and she remembered, "I woke up in the middle of the night and I thought I was having a heart attack. The only reason I didn't call the emergency services is because I didn't know that in England you dial 999; in America it's 911. Honestly, I thought I was dying. It was really, really tough."

"The first year was just beyond— I don't know how we all got through it, my mother, my brother and I. It was pretty messed up. Anyone will tell you, who loses a love of their life like that, there's just no other way but through," the Goop founder said. "You just try to process your grief and keep going."

She said one "upside" of "having him die so young" was that she "had so much life left to build."

the goop lab Special Screening, Los Angeles
Gwyneth Paltrow. Rachel Murray/Getty Images

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"I hadn't been married yet. I hadn't had kids yet. I hadn't really found myself yet. I still had that opportunity to continue to, I don't know— I had all these chapters left," explained Gwyneth. "What's so sad is he's not a part of them, but at the same time, he was such an amazing part of the foundation."

Gwyneth has previously expressed how much her father has inspired her in life. The Politician star — who's mom is actress Blythe Danner — even kept her dad close by marrying her husband Brad Falchuck near the location where his ashes are buried.

RELATED VIDEO: Gwyneth Paltrow Says She 'Almost Died' During 'Emergency' Delivery of Daughter Apple

"For years, I would go into kind of the deepest depression of all time around my birthday and then I thought: 'I've got to reframe this somehow. My father would not want this for me,'" she said on the Armchair Experts podcast back in March 2019.

The mom of two also gave namesakes to her children that honor her parents — she shares daughter Apple Blythe Alison, 17, and son Moses Bruce Anthony, 16, with ex Chris Martin.

Also on the Armchair Experts appearance, Gwyneth said she still has a "hard time" with the death of her father, who directed her in his last-ever movie, 2000's Duets. "I still have a hard time with it," she said at the time. "He was such an intentional father, and he was so observant and so deeply supportive and set us up to win all the time."

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