The death of a parent is difficult to imagine until one experiences it firsthand, and in several 2023 interviews, Rainn Wilson spoke about the loss of his father three years prior. Speaking on “The Diary of a CEO,” he shared that the official cause of his father’s death was heart disease, and that they hadn’t expected him to die when he underwent a quadruple bypass. “We thought he was going to get through the surgery, and he died. We knew it was risky, but it was not a predicted death,” he remembered.
Wilson said that he was faced with making the decision to take his father off life support after the surgery failed. “It was devastating and terrifying and oddly enough, strangely cliche at the same time.” He said that in the face of it all, he kept focusing on how the whole thing was unfolding precisely like a scene from any one of a hundred medical dramas.
Although he’s spoken openly about childhood trauma and abuse, he also said that in that moment, he saw everything that he loved about his father, too. “I was filled with such love and such heartbreak, and at the same time, at seeing his lifeless body, I was like, ‘This isn’t him. This isn’t my dad. This is the vessel that carried my dad.'”