Chrissy Teigen Reveals She Travels With Her Late Son Jack's Ashes
By Paige Gawley
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Chrissy Teigen keeps her late son close. In an interview with Scary Mommy, the 35-year-old model reveals that she and her family travel with the ashes of her late son, Jack.
Teigen suffered a pregnancy loss with Jack in September 2020. She and her husband, John Legend, share two children, Luna, 5, and Miles, 3, and Teigen says she never shielded them from Jack's life or death.
"They saw the experience of the home ultrasounds and the nervousness of 'This isn’t going well.' Or it was me going to the bathroom, and Luna would be at the door when I came out, and she would say, 'Are you bleeding still?'" Teigen recalls. "She knew everything. So there was going to be no escaping it, even if I wanted to."
Though they were aware of what was going on, Teigen says that "it wasn’t really until we got his ashes back, I think, that they started to be able to say, 'OK, this happened. Here he is now. He didn’t make it.'"
"It was something for them to be able to put a story to, where we could say, 'OK, Jack is in here and he is going to stay with us. And maybe one day we might release him. And he loves that we still think about him, and he loves that we’re still emotional about him, but more than anything, he loves that we talk about him. That makes him really excited and really happy,'" she says. "So they know that he’s still very much a part of our lives."
"At school when they draw things, they draw him as an angel. We talk about it a lot. What felt comfortable for our family was him always being around," Teigen says. "Whether we go on a vacation or something, they always say, 'Don’t forget baby Jack.' And then I have to pack him up. And then we get to where we’re going, they’re like, 'Oh my gosh, he must be thirsty.' This might sound crazy to people, but they’ll put a little glass of water next to his little box of ashes. And they really love being a part of it."
While Teigen and her family take comfort in keeping Jack close, she admits that her kids "still catch me in a funk some days" and are quick to ask, "Is it baby Jack?"
"I don’t think they’ll ever quite understand why he didn’t make it, in the way that I don’t understand. I had a placental abruption, and I keep having to ask my doctor, 'OK, but why? Why wasn’t it able to work? Why didn’t we just keep going?'" Teigen says. "And they were like, 'We physically would’ve run out of blood in the hospital. Were we going to do that for 20 weeks in the hospital?' That’s still something that I’m coming to terms with, why we gave up."
"I needed to be shaken up, and I needed to be humbled. Before I had gotten pregnant with Jack, I wasn’t living a healthy life. The way I was treating my body was not great, with the alcohol," Teigen, who has since become sober, says. "I was the kind of person that made fun of working out and made fun of my friends that were obsessed with their CrossFit. I just wasn’t reading my body well."
"So I feel like if I [had] got[ten] the chance to have him, I wouldn’t have learned how precious life is and how precious my body is," she continues. "Now I look at my body as something that I can’t yell at and I can’t be upset with. It’s gotten through so much, and so much more than people even know. What it has persevered through has been incredible."
Amid her grief and the controversy, Teigen turned her focus to working on her upcoming cookbook, Cravings: All Together: Recipes to Love.
"When everything happened, all I wanted myself was comfort recipes, so I decided I wanted to be fully immersed in this cookbook process," she says. "... After I was done with the book, I realized, 'Oh, it’s time to address a lot of things. It’s definitely time for therapy, and time for some healing.'"
That healing and therapy, Teigen says, has helped her to become a more "complete, whole person" after previously living a "very closed off" life where she was making herself "so small by being sad and angry and bitter."
"I don’t hold any anger, and I attribute that to so much therapy," she says. "I was kind of an angry brat before. I would get riled up at the smallest things... I’d always have my guard up. I’d always be watching for people that were taking sneaky videos or taking pictures. I was a jealous person."
"I was not bad to my friends, but I wasn’t good in the way of communication, and it was kind of a thing where my friends had to accept that I was going to be in and out," Teigen adds. "Something that always loomed over me was that I always wanted to be a better friend."
Today, Teigen says, she finds joy in "the little things."
"I love listening to music, and I love driving my kids around and taking them for a little staycation, like I did this last weekend, and that wouldn’t have happened a year ago," she says. "I feel like I’m a better mom, I’m a better wife, and I’m a better friend. I love being a part of the world."