Kelsey Grammer was shaped by grief, said Andrew Goldman in The New York Times. He was just 20 when his 18-year-old sister, Karen, was abducted by three men in Colorado Springs, raped, stabbed, and left bleeding to death in an alley. Grammer had to identify the body. “It’s something that stays with you for your whole life,” says the actor, 56. “This was the closest person to me genetically and emotionally.” Grammer had already dealt with a lot of loss. When he was 12, the grandfather who helped raise him died. A year later, his estranged father was shot dead. “Everybody’s got their things that shape them or turn them one way or another. And I had plenty of mine.”
The horror of his sister’s death caused Grammer to seek solace in alcohol and drugs. “I, being the big brother, thought that I had some responsibility for [her death], and that haunted me.” He finally confronted these demons when he went to the Betty Ford Clinic in 1996. In rehab, Grammer came to understand that “addiction is the result of unresolved grief. I’m still saddened by [my sister’s murder], but it doesn’t hurt me now like it did.”
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