John Travolta Recalls Discussing Death with Son Ben, 10, After Wife Kelly Preston Died
While appearing on the latest episode of Kevin Hart's Peacock talk show series Hart to Heart, the 67-year-old actor opened up about the emotional conversation he and his son, 10, shared after Preston died last year following a two-year battle with breast cancer. She was 57.
Travolta shared that during a walk through their neighborhood late one night, Ben explained to his father that he was afraid to lose him too. "He said to me once, 'Because mom passed away, I'm afraid you're going to,'" Travolta said.
"I said, 'Well, it's a very different thing.' And I went through the differences about my longevity and her limited life," the Grease star continued. "I said, 'But you know, Ben … you always love the truth and I'm going to tell you the truth about life. Nobody knows when they're gonna go or when they're going to stay.' "
"Your brother [Jett] left at 16. Too young. Your mother left at 57. That was too young. But who's to say? I could die tomorrow. You could. Anybody can," he added. "So let's look at it like it's part of life. You don't know exactly. You just do your best at trying to live the longest you can."
Travolta and Preston married in 1991. A family representative told PEOPLE exclusively of Preston's death in 2020, saying in a statement, "On the morning of July 12, 2020, Kelly Preston, adored wife and mother, passed away following a two-year battle with breast cancer."
Alongside Ben, the pair also shared daughter Ella, 21, and son Jett, who died at the age of 16 back in 2009 when he suffered a seizure after he hit his head on a bathtub.
Ben was born in November 2010 after the couple tried to conceive for three years. "He's given the house a renewed spirit and purpose," Travolta told PEOPLE in 2011.
During his candid conversation with his son that he discussed with Hart, 42, Travolta said that he told his little guy that he feels "eternally 21" when Ben asked him if he could remember things that happened decades ago.
"I said, 'Yeah.' He said, 'Does 30 years ago seem like a long time?' I said, 'Yeah.' He said, 'Don't you think you have 30 more years in your life to live?' I said, 'Yeah, I do. I have at least 30 more years.' He said, 'What's wrong with that?'" Travolta explained. "This is a 10-year-old telling me that! It changed my viewpoint."