In-Season Tournament

Stan Van Gundy reveals wife died by suicide in August: ‘I just don’t think I’ll ever get over it’

Stan Van Gundy reveals wife died by suicide in August: 'I just don't think I'll ever get over it'

Stan Van Gundy has been dealing with an unimaginable loss over the past eight months. (Photo by John W. McDonough/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

Content Warning: This story contains discussions of suicide. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 988

Former NBA head coach and current TNT broadcaster Stan Van Gundy's wife Kim died last August, with her obituary only saying she died "unexpectedly."

Eight months later, Van Gundy has revealed that she died by suicide in an appearance on Dan Le Batard's "South Beach Sessions" podcast. The ensuing discussion was a remarkably forthright examination of how Van Gundy has been dealing with the grief, as well as Le Batard, who lost his brother David to cancer that same month.

As Van Gundy explained it:

“She took her own life, Dan. I’ll never — I don’t care how long it goes, I can’t imagine that I’ll ever get over that… It was devastating. We’d been married for 35 years and had been together for close to 40 years, since I was 24 years old … my entire adult life, I trace everything, job changes, kids, everything, I was with her and she was by my side.

"I never, ever, envisioned that I was gonna live another day in my life without Kim. Never envisioned that. I knew she was going through a tough time, but I still never envisioned that happening. Even now, it's been eight months and I struggle to come to grips with the fact that I'm never gonna see her again and I'm trying hard, you can relate to this I'm sure, to stay connected. I don't want to — my house is full of pictures of Kim. There's a montage of pictures above my bed that my kids did for me of Kim. I'm trying hard to remember her voice, to remember her smile, all of those things, but more than anything, to live her values, because her values were better than mine.

"She taught me a lot and I want to live her values and a life that she would be proud of. And my kids at times over the last eight months, at times, not often, but I think genuinely from their point I'll do something and they'll say, 'Mom would have really been proud of you for that one.' That above anything else really makes me feel good, because my wife was an incredible person and the loss is huge."

Van Gundy said he has been "doing as much therapy as I possibly can" and that he knows he will get better, but when it came to regret, he said "I just don't think I'll ever get over it."

A larger topic was how death has become an unavoidable part of Van Gundy's life, revealing that his brother Jeff's best friend had died a week ago due to cancer. He said one thing he's working on in therapy is how to process what clearly comes across as depression:

"I've had very little tragedy in my life until my wife died. Very little, I've just been blessed. But as you get older, man, it's just all around you and it becomes part of you life. It's one of the things I'm trying to deal with in therapy, besides the loss of my wife, how do I deal with this? Where's the joy in life? How do you go on day to day? How do you find stuff to do. I can function. I don't know about you but I can get up and function every day. I do what needs to be done. But I don't have much that I want to do right now and how do you have that when you're just seeing tragedy and death and sickness all around you? I know that's going to be a huge part of my life now."

Van Gundy said his kids still make him happy, saying they were "mainly" what kept him going. He's also tried to be honest about his mental state, including with his former players:

"For some reason in February, the six-month anniversary of my wife's death hit me. I don't know why, I'm not usually that much into the dates, but it hit me. I said that to my kids and I've had people willing to help me. I don't feel I'm hiding anything but at the same time, if you want people to be there for you — this is the way I feel anyway — and support you, you don't want to make that support be the most miserable damn thing in their life.

"I've had these players come down, which is one of the kindest acts for guys that I coached 40 years ago, to spend the weekend for me, and they all asked very genuinely 'How are you doing?' Well if I'm going to sit there and burden them the whole weekend, hell, I don't want it to be like that. I didn't lie to them, I said 'It's been rough, but you guys coming down here makes it a lit better.'"

Van Gundy spent four decades as a coach, working his way up from Division III to the NBA, where he worked as head coach for the Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons and New Orleans Pelicans. He last coached in 2021 with the Pelicans.

He continued to work at TNT after his wife's death once the NBA season began in October and is currently on the network's team for the Western Conference finals.

Source

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button