Princess Martha Louise Was in a 'Pit of Depression' Following Ex-Husband's Death by Suicide

The royal reflected on the emotional journey following her ex-husband Ari Behn's death

Princess Martha Louise
Princess Martha Louise. Photo: Chance Yeh/Getty

Princess Martha Louise of Norway is opening up about coping with the death of her ex-husband and father of her three children, Ari Behn.

The daughter of King Harald V and Queen Sonja joined Tessy Antony de Nassau, former princess of Luxembourg, on the Zoom O'Clock podcast, where she reflected on the emotional journey following Behn's death by suicide on Christmas Day 2019.

"I think it's so important that whatever we go through as human beings, and we all go through so many different things, and sorrow is something we all have to meet at a certain point in life," Princess Martha Louise, 50, said. "Unfortunately, my kids met it at a very young age. But we all go through it at some point, and I think it's really important the lessons we all learn from that — that you can't go round it, you have to go through it."

She added, "It is like having tunnel vision because it does cover everything. You can get stuck in that sorrow and you can go into a pit of depression, which I did, and you can get out of it as well."

Princess Martha Louise also talked about how her daughter Maud, 18, recently wrote and illustrated a book called Threads of Tears about grief.

The royal said the book has been "a positive thing for her to share with people so that she also could work through her pain and all the things she has been through with her sorrow."

Martha Louise spoke about the importance of mental health awareness, adding that her daughter successfully advocated having a day dedicated to the cause at her school.

Princess Martha Louise
Princess Martha Louise and Ari Behn. Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty

Martha Louise, who is now dating American "spiritual guide" to the stars Shaman Durek, was married to Behn — who worked as an author and wrote three novels, three short story collections and three plays, according to his website — for 15 years before separating in 2016 and officially divorcing in 2017.

The princess opened up about the death of Behn shortly following his funeral, when the royal family laid Behn to rest on Jan. 3, 2020 at Oslo Cathedral.

"Dear Ari, We were supposed to be together at Christmas and celebrating. We had all been looking forward to it. And we are so infinitely sad and sorry for the loss of just you, because you were the girls' warm, funny, wise and good dad that they so dearly miss," the royal wrote on Instagram, along with a photo of her late ex.

Norwegian Day Celebrations In London
Princess Märtha Louise, Ari Behn and their three daughters Maud Angelica, Leah Isadora and Emma Tallulah in 2013. Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty

We miss the funny comments, your fine viewpoints, the poetic tone, the overflowing compliments, the great love you had for them. Today you would have been so proud of them. But now there is a void where you were, because no one can ever replace you for our beautiful girls. And it is so painful to think that you would leave the earth. We are in deep sorrow and pain all together," she said. "An invisible illness took you more and more, because that's when the mental health fails. For a long time, we gradually saw you disappear, but we held on to the belief that this would go well. Your family fought for you. They have been there for you day and night."

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The mom of three concluded, "You are and will continue to be deeply missed, Ari. And I feel sad that you never really understood how loved you were. I hope that we who are left can be good at praising each other and saying the nice words to each other. For we have this life to share just how happy we are for each other and what wonderful qualities we see in each other. We keep you in love, Ari, and move on with your words: Every day is a party and you are a piece of jewelry."

If you or someone you know needs mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.

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