Written by Ashton Snyder on
 May 15, 2024

Cindy Crawford Discusses Guilt Over Brother's Death: 'It Should’ve Been Us'

Cindy Crawford recently opened up about the profound emotional impact of losing her brother Jeffrey, who died of leukemia at the age of 3, during an appearance on the “Kelly Corrigan Wonders” podcast.

The supermodel revealed the survivor guilt she and her sisters experienced and shared insights from her journey of dealing with the loss.

According to Page Six, Jeffrey Crawford's death at the age of 3 left a lasting impact on his sisters, especially Cindy Crawford, who recently spoke about their survivor guilt.

Crawford, now 58, detailed the emotional turmoil she faced after her brother's passing. She and her sisters, Chris and Danielle, were deeply affected by Jeffrey’s death, which occurred when Cindy was just 9 years old.

During the podcast, Crawford reflected on the heavy burden of guilt that the family carried, particularly because their father, John Crawford, had a strong desire for a son. This desire intensified the siblings' feelings of survivor guilt, as they believed their father would have preferred any one of them to have passed instead of Jeffrey.

Cindy Crawford’s Early Struggles with Grief

The supermodel’s father’s longing for a son exacerbated the family's emotional struggle. "There’s like that survivor guilt of the other kids and especially because we knew that my dad really wanted a boy. We felt like, ‘Well, it should’ve been one of us,'" she said.

Crawford also touched upon how she and her sisters processed their grief in their youth. The nightmares they experienced were a shared and unsettling reminder of their loss, with each sister feeling the weight of the survivor's guilt.

Therapy and Reflective Coaching During COVID

Crawford sought therapy to manage the emotional trauma from her brother's death. The journey towards healing continued into recent years, particularly during the Covid pandemic. She engaged in coaching, which allowed her to reflect deeply on her needs during that difficult period.

"Just recently, I was doing some coaching through Covid. I actually had time to do real work, and I realized that one of the questions the coach asked me was something like, ‘What did you need to hear at that time that you didn’t hear?’ and I realized," Crawford shared, emphasizing the importance of addressing unspoken emotional needs.

This period of introspection helped Crawford confront and understand her long-standing feelings of guilt and loss. The coaching provided a space for her to process unresolved emotions from her childhood.

The Challenges of Returning to Normalcy

Returning to school after Jeffrey’s death was another significant challenge for young Cindy. She recounted how only one classmate mentioned her brother’s death and in a rather blunt manner. “I remember when I went back to school after my brother died, not one person said one thing to me, no kidding, except for one kid who was like, ‘I saw in the paper your brother’s dead. Is that true?’”

The insensitivity of this comment highlighted the difficulty children have in addressing such serious topics. "I was like, ‘Whoa.’ It was so in your face, but he didn’t know what to say. We were in third grade," Crawford recalled.

In conclusion, Cindy Crawford's recent podcast appearance sheds light on the long-lasting impact of her brother Jeffrey’s death. Her story of navigating survivor guilt, seeking therapy, and reflecting on her emotional needs during the COVID pandemic provides a powerful narrative of resilience and the importance of addressing grief openly and honestly.

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About Ashton Snyder

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