Brianna Keilar's mother died suddenly while she was on the road to cover the 2016 presidential election

By Lindsay Kimble
October 31, 2016 03:42 PM
Credit: Mike Coppola/Getty

As the mudslinging of the 2016 presidential election comes to a close, one reporter is opening up about how she dealt with loss while covering an unprecedented battle to be Commander-in-Chief.

CNN senior political correspondent Brianna Keilar‘s mother died earlier this year after a short battle with acute leukemia.

Keilar, 36, found out that her mother was ill just 24 hours before her mom’s death, which happened to be when she was traveling to Kentucky the evening before the state’s presidential primary.

“As we drive to the airport I Google ‘acute leukemia,’ ” wrote Keilar. “There are two major kinds and her chances of surviving either are not good. I steel myself for her long cancer battle.”

She continued, “I thought the hardest thing I would deal with in 2016 was covering the election. It was a reasonable assumption. I have no idea that by noon tomorrow she will be gone.”

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Through it all, Keilar jetted from California to New Hampshire to Las Vegas and interviewed Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.

In between time on screen, Keilar was planning a cremation and a memorial service while discovering her family’s new life without their matriarch.

“My mom was the rock of our family,” shared Keilar in a video that accompanied the essay. “She was 61 when she died.”

Added Keilar, “She was so much a part of our lives that I feel her all the time. It’s like she’s just there with me.”