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“I Miss the Things That’ll Never Be.” How Keanu Reeves Survived Losing His Baby and His Girlfriend Within 2 Years

Life wasn’t easy for Keanu Reeves. One of the earliest blows he experienced was the passing of his close friend River Phoenix in 1993. Back then, he could only hope it would be the most tragic event of that decade. Little did Keanu know, he would be knocked down even harder. But on his example, Reeves is able to show everyone that no matter how dark life gets, it’s always worth pushing forward.

We at Bright Side are looking back at an event that shaped this wonderful actor’s life and made him the man we know and love today.

That one time Keanu Reeves almost settled down.

Back in 1995, when Reeves was just 31 years old, he was at the peak of his career and making the most of it. He was enjoying being single, but did express that “when [I do] settle down, [I hope] to start a family.” That desire came over Keanu especially hard 3 years later when he met Jennifer Syme, who he at the time thought was “the love of his life.” They were deeply in love and were preparing to become parents after Syme got pregnant one year into their relationship. Unfortunately, life had other plans.

The tragic events that reshaped Keanu’s entire life

Jennifer gave birth on December 24, 1999 to a girl she and Keanu planned on naming Ava Archer. Sadly, the baby was stillborn. Syme fell into postpartum depression, while the actor had his career to take his mind off things. But as the saying goes, misery loves company. Just 2 years after losing the baby, Jennifer got into a fatal car crash. From that point on, life has never been the same for Reeves.

Keanu, who’s usually quite private about his personal life, reflected on losing Jennifer and Ava in a 2006 interview. He said: “When the people you love are gone, you’re alone. I miss being a part of their lives and them being part of mine. I wonder what the present would be like if they were here — what we might have done together. I miss all the great things that will never be.” Luckily, Reeves didn’t allow grief to break him, but rather he learned from it: “Much of my appreciation of life has come through loss. Life is precious. It’s worthwhile.”

In the 2000s, Keanu’s life entered its dark ages.

Healing took a long time. No one else seemed to interest Keanu romantically, as his personal life came to a halt. And yet, he hadn’t lost faith. In that same honest 2006 interview, the actor admitted: “I’m trying not to be alone so much. And, man, it’s a struggle. I want to get married. I want to have kids. That’s at the top of the mountain. I’ve got to climb the mountain first. I’ll do it. Just give me some time.”

During that time, a popular meme of sad Keanu Reeves eating alone on a bench started a Cheer Up Keanu Day on June 15. No one was laughing at him, people were mostly doing it out of affection for their favorite celebrity. In addition, a Time journalist proclaimed Keanu to be “the ultimate introvert.” But after the rain there’s always a rainbow.

The woman that brought Reeves back into the light.

In 2009, Keanu met Alexandra Grant at a social event. The 2 clearly kept in touch as they collaborated on the actor’s books in 2011 and then again in 2016. Their relationship was never advertised and was presented as a friendship throughout the decade. Finally, in 2019, Keanu and Alexandra displayed their romantic connection in public.

Reeves went through hell and back, but came out a better and stronger man on the other side. We’re beyond happy that he finally found his person and was able to fall in love again. Do you like Keanu and Alexandra as a couple?

Preview photo credit AP/East News
Bright Side/People/“I Miss the Things That’ll Never Be.” How Keanu Reeves Survived Losing His Baby and His Girlfriend Within 2 Years
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