Melissa Rios, the mother of one of Dwight Howard's five children, tragically passed away about six weeks ago.
The Los Angeles Lakers player revealed the tragic news in a video conference call with reporters on Friday (May 15).
"I've had some things happen in my personal life that has been difficult to really handle," he shared, per ESPN. "My son's mom, she had passed away a month and a half ago and it's extremely difficult for me to try to understand how to talk to my son, who's 6-years-old, just about the whole situation."
Dwight went on to explain that she suffered from epilepsy and died after having a seizure at her home in Calabasas, California.
According to ESPN, Dwight was planning to invite Melissa, who was a real estate agent and epilepsy advocate, to spend time with him and their son David in Georgia when he found out she had died.
The 34-year-old basketball star told reporters he's grateful he was "able to be home in Georgia to be with his son and help him to process the loss." Adding, the tragedy, which occurred in the middle of the novel coronavirus pandemic, has made him "just be grateful for life."
"Every moment counts," he said. "Be grateful for every situation that you have, just be grateful for life. I think we also take for granted the little things and just spending time with people and stuff like that. And you know after having all these situations, it's like, reconfirming to me just stay in the moment. Always be grateful. Always be grateful for everything you have, every little thing that happens."
Dwight said he was able to attend Melissa's funeral with their son in Reno, Nevada as social distancing measures were put in place for those who attended, ESPN reports.
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