Chelsea Handler Remembers Her Late Big Brother, Who Died at Age 22, in Touching Tribute Post
"Because of that day, I learned how to live and love and laugh and to: Show up, Stand up, Love up," Handler wrote about the impact of her brother's death
Chelsea Handler lost her older brother 33 years ago, but the impact he made on her life will last forever.
The talk show host took to Instagram on Tuesday evening to remember the eldest Handler sibling, who died after he fell off a cliff in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, over three decades ago.
“33 years ago this month my brother Chet died. He was 22, and the oldest of 6 kids,” wrote Handler, 42.
“We were never 6 again. Only 5. The number was never the right number again,” she continued.
“But, because of that day, I learned how to live and love and laugh and to: Show up, Stand up, Love up. Argue, Fight, Make up, Show up again. Go to bat for people. Tell them you love them. Defend your friends. Stand up for yourself. Give away the things you have in excess. Give away the things you love the most,” she wrote, and concluded, “This is the only chance we get. Make it count. Live a little.”
Handler grew up the youngest of six siblings and lost Chet in 1984 when she was just 9 years old.
Last spring, she opened up about Chet’s death — and how she was able to find something positive out of one of the darkest times for her family.
“Seeing your parents fall apart is really rough,” Handler told PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly Editorial Director Jess Cagle. “I wouldn’t wish it on anybody.”
“As hard as it was for me or for my brothers or sisters – [how did it feel] for my parents to have your own child in danger in that way? And then you can’t protect them and you couldn’t save them?”
“In hindsight it really kept us as a tight-knit group, because it was so tragic and awful,” she said. “Ultimately, it was kind of a beautiful gift because we all value each other so much.”
Handler, whose Netflix talk show Chelsea debuted in May 2016, also fondly recalled taking care of Chet when he would come home from engineering school.
“I was, like, 7 or 8, and he would come home and I would make him cereal when he would come home late from school, from college, and I would put it in a bowl and act like I made him dinner, and look after him,” Handler shared.
“You have all these beautiful memories,” she said, and added, “and that’s enough sometimes.”