In 2021, American Idol alumni Chris Daughtry faced heartbreak twice in a period of days when he lost both his mother and daughter.
In November, his mother Sandra passed away after a battle with cancer. Exactly one week later, on November 12, his daughter Hannah took her own life.
Daughtry appeared on The Kelly Clarkson Show this week and talked about the tragedies and how he has coped with them.
Chris Daughtry talks losing mother and daughter in 2021
Daughtry said that he wished he could have done more before his loved ones died, and he feels guilty that he couldn’t do anything about their deaths.
“I dealt with both differently, processed both losses very differently—the common denominator in both is the guilt,” he told Kelly Clarkson. “The ‘I wish I would have said this. I wish I would’ve done this. I wish I would’ve called more.'”
While his mother died after fighting cancer, his daughter Hannah, 25, died after a long battle with what Daughtry called “mental illness.”
Daughty said there are still times when he thinks, “this would be the time I called my daughter” or “this would be the time I called my mother.”
He said those are the hardest moments for him.
“Those moments of guilt is the hardest because you can’t do anything about it,” Daughtry said. “There’s always going to be reminders of what you could’ve done or whatever, and I tend to beat myself up a lot over it.”
He did say that it was a “healing time” in his house and that he and his wife and kids have dealt with it in a “healthy way.”
Daughtry said his daughter had a natural burial
Chris Daughtry went on to say his daughter had a natural burial, and that helped him, and his wife and kids grieve and start their healing process.
He said that Hannah wanted to have a natural burial, and it helped his family as she was lowered in a basket, and they each had a shovel and dropped dirt onto the grave.
He called it “healing,” “liberating,” and a “heavy, magical” feeling for them all, and it was better than the family just “sitting on the outside.”
A natural burial, also known as green burial, does not use embalming fluid, a casket, or a burial vault. Instead, the remains are placed directly into the earth, allowing the body to decompose naturally.
American Idol is on hiatus. The singing reality competition series will return in 2023 to ABC.