A few days after the death of his father, Dwayne Johnson is opening up about the pain of losing a loved one. On Jan. 19, the 47-year-old former wrestler shared a seven-minute video in which he thanks fans for “the outpouring of love” before talking about grief and the hardship of saying goodbye to his dad, Rocky Johnson, who died on Jan. 15 at age 75. “I’d give anything right now to give him a big old hug and a big old kiss before he crossed over,” Dwayne says in the clip. He goes on to encourage fans to value every moment they have. “Live as greatly as you possibly can in the wake of the life and legacy that your loved one has left and especially a parent,” he adds before speaking more about Rocky’s impact in the world of WWE wrestling.
Dwayne first posted about his father’s passing on Jan. 17, sharing an emotional message with a video from Rocky’s career in the ring. “I love you. You broke color barriers, became a ring legend and trail blazed your way thru this world,” he wrote on Instagram. “I was the boy sitting in the seats, watching and adoring you, my hero from afar. The boy you raised to always be proud of our cultures and proud of who and what I am. The boy you raised with the toughest of love. The intense work. The hard hand. The adoring boy who wanted to know only your best qualities. Who then grew to become a man realizing you had other deeply complicated sides that needed to be held and understood.”
He added: “Son to father. Man to man. That’s when my adoration turned to respect. And my empathy turned to gratitude. Grateful that you gave me life. Grateful you gave me life’s invaluable lessons. Dad, I wish I had one more shot to tell you, I love you, before you crossed over to the other side. But you were ripped away from me so fast without warning. Gone in an instant and no coming back. I’m in pain. But we both know it’s just pain and it’ll pass.”
Dwayne closed his message with some words of hope and motivation. “Now I’ll carry your mana and work ethic with me, as it’s time to move on because I have my family to feed and work to accomplish,” he wrote. “Finally, I want you to rest your trailblazing soul, Soulman. Pain free, regret free, satisfied and at ease. You lived a very full, very hard, barrier breaking life and left it all in the ring. I love you dad and I’ll always be your proud and grateful son. Go rest high.”
Ahead, see both of Dwayne’s heartfelt posts in full.