As anyone who has lost someone close to them can attest, adjusting to life after death is a difficult, complex process and one that must be met with compassion.
During the cover story of Essence's May 2019 issue, Sean "Diddy" Combs opened up about the passing of his soulmate, Kim Porter, with whom he welcomed three children and adopted her son from a previous relationship. Their family, and the world at large, was changed forever after Porter, 47, passed away in November 2018.
On Thursday (May 9), as an additional part of the in-depth interview feature as penned by writer and filmmaker dream hampton, Essence released approximately 20 minutes of raw audio between the two longtime friends as part of its "Yes, Girl" podcast. During the emotional conversation, Combs reflects on the heartbreaking tragedy, offering a deeply personal and heartfelt tribute.
"I don't know what I'm gonna do," Combs says during a snippet of the recorded conversation, audibly in tears. "I'm gonna figure something out, though. This hurts so much. I know that people want to hear like, the good stuff...it hurts. There ain't no way around that...I wanted to do [the interview] 'cause I wanted to let everybody know...I don't think anybody could ever understand how hard it is to be a Black mother."
The couple, who were together for more than a decade and remained extremely close following their decision to part ways romantically in 2007, share a son, Christian, and twin daughters, D'Lila Star and Jessie James. Combs also adopted and helped raise Porter's eldest child, Quincy. The music mogul and REVOLT TV chairman also has a son, Justin, and a daughter, Chance, from other relationships. Combs' has often reflected about how family is the driving force behind all that he does, a sentiment that further shows the positive impact Porter had on his children and their mutual understanding to put their best interest at the forefront.
"It was a total shock and a surprise and it really, really woke me up just as far as it just turned everything upside down," he says, reflecting on Porter's death. "It was the craziest, most traumatic thing I've ever been through. When they say it hits home or cuts deep or your world gets turned upside down, it was all of that in one."
He also opened up about the day he found out about Porter's death, explaining the steps he took to prevent his children from learning about the tragic news from social media or strangers.
"I sent people in every direction to try to make sure the kids would not hear about it on social media or the news," he explains. "I had to get to the girls' school and find Quincy, who was onset in Atlanta. Christian was on a plane, and I had his phone disconnected so he wouldn't read it in the air. Every time Kim and I talked, it was about the kids. It was what she cared about the most. We'd check in as friends, of course, but we never had a conversation that didn't include the kids. It was like some superhero s--t. I ain't even gonna lie."
Combs also noted how Porter's strength and wisdom is something he continues to carry with him.
"On some level, I knew she was training me for this," he continues. "I knew that I had to be ready to do whatever I was supposed to do if something like this ever happened. There was screaming and crying when I heard the news, of course, but I had to ask myself, What would Kim do? I was scared, and I was crying out to God—and to her—and almost immediately Kim's voice kicked in, and I could hear her saying, 'Make sure you take care of my babies.'"
According to Essence's Chief Content and Creative Officer MoAna Luu, Combs didn't anticipate getting so personal during the interview but "felt that this piece's potential impact on culture—and anyone who has gone through or is experiencing a similar situation—weighed more heavily than his personal fears. So, he ultimately agreed in sharing it."
Take a listen to Sean "Diddy" Combs' raw interview in full via Essence's "Yes, Girl!" Podcast here.