Lacey Chabert Admits Some Days Feel ‘Unbearable’ After Sister’s Death

Lacey Chabert

Hallmark Lacey Chabert in one of her Hallmark movies, "Crossword Mysteries Abracadaver"

Lacey Chabert may seem poised and happy as she posts on social media and promotes her newest Hallmark Channel movies, but the star says some days are still “unbearable” in the wake of losing her sister, who died unexpectedly just before Thanksgiving 2021. Chabert has opened up in a new podcast about what her journey through grief has been like, and how her young daughter and fans help her through the toughest days.

Lacey Chabert Says She Still Misses Calling Her Sister Every Day

In the latest episode of the Biscuits and Jam podcast — released on December 13, 2022 — Chabert opened up to its host, Southern Living editor Sid Evans, about what it’s been like navigating the holidays without her beloved older sister.

According to the Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow funeral home in North Allen, Texas, Wendy Chabert Riggio died on November 22, 2021, at age 46. A cause of death has not been provided by the family, but the following day, Chabert announced her sister’s death in an emotional update on Instagram that featured Riggio’s 1994 senior photo from high school.

“Our hearts are shattered into a million pieces that I don’t know how we will ever put back together again now that you’re gone,” she wrote.

Just over a year later, Chabert revealed to Evans in the new podcast that she is still struggling to navigate the grief of such an enormous loss.

“I’m gonna try to talk about this without crying,” she began. “But obviously, losing my sister completely broke my heart, and I’m still reeling from it, ’cause she’s such a huge part of my life. She was one of those first phone calls for everything. And it’s just so hard to grapple with a sudden loss, especially. I just miss her so much in everything.”

Chabert, who is considered Hallmark’s reigning “Queen of Christmas movies,” said that navigating her first holiday season without Wendy was difficult and that there are still days when she’s overcome by grief.

“The holidays were incredibly hard, and every first without her is just heartbreaking,” she said. “I hope it’ll get easier. I, I don’t know. Grief is a real journey. There’s been days where it’s unbearable, and then there’s days where you’re okay, and it takes you by surprise sometimes.”

Chabert said that she’s finding comfort in the joy of the season and in the little ways her work may bring joy to others, because that’s what her sister was all about.

“Man, she spread joy,” Chabert told Evans. “And I think of that as my purpose in life now, to spread joy to everyone around me. I hope that I spread that joy with my job and my movies and anything that I create.”

Lacey Chabert Says Her Daughter Helps Her Get Through Her Grief

Chabert said she’s found comfort in unexpected places, from the wise words of her six-year-old daughter Julia to connecting with fans.

“You know, my daughter corrects me when I speak about her in past tense,” Chabert shared on the podcast. “We were watching a movie, and I said, ‘Oh, this was one of Aunt Wendy’s favorite movies.’ And she goes, ‘No, mom. It’s still one of her favorite movies. She’s just up in heaven now.'”

She continued, “We just hold on to the memories, and we talk about her all the time, and I talk to my daughter about her so much. And you just put one foot in front of the other.”

Chabert also said she was stunned by the outpouring of kindness shown to her and her family by Hallmark fans after Wendy’s death.

“I have to tell you, the amount of love and support that my family, my entire family received during that time, there aren’t enough words to express my gratitude for it,” she said. “It touched my heart in a way I didn’t even know my heart could be touched by perfect strangers.”

Chabert appears in the newly-released Christmas movie “Haul Out the Holly” and just finished filming the next “Wedding Veil” trilogy in Greece, set to debut on Hallmark in January.

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