One month after Robert and Diane Witt were found dead in their Worcester, Massachusetts, home, the 46-year-old singer-actress said it “still doesn’t feel real” to her that her beloved family members are gone.
“It’s been a month since I got scared, not having heard back from them, and called to have them checked on,” she wrote on Facebook and Instagram alongside several photos of her parents. “Waiting, phone in hand, praying fervently that the next call would be from them, angry I’d gotten someone else involved. Knowing as soon as I heard the detective’s voice on the other line that they were gone. Knowing I would never hear their voices again. Beginning the rest of my life of finding them on the breeze, in a song, in a dream.”
The former Orange Is the New Black actress revealed she was able to “quietly travel” to Worcester earlier this month to attend a “beautiful service and burial, to mourn and to celebrate them in total privacy.” Witt also thanked the Mercadante Funeral Home for “going to great lengths to make this possible,” adding that she will “will forever be indebted” to them.
“Thank you, also, to all those who have reached out with your memories about my parents. They were brilliant educators, deeply kind, curious, intuitive, wise, young at heart, funny — there will never be enough adjectives to describe them,” she said. “The circumstances around my parents’ sudden passings have become fodder for press, and there are some misconceptions rolling around — understandably so. This is very delicate for me to write because I’m wanting to honor their privacy, which they held so tightly. There’s an awful irony in the fact that, because of the very lengths they went to in order to protect their privacy in life — that privacy has been stripped away in death.”
Witt continued, “I never imagined I would have to talk about this publicly — much less, amidst overwhelming floods of grief. I hadn’t been allowed inside my parents’ home for well over a decade; every time I offered to have something repaired for them, they refused to allow workers into their house. I begged, cried, tried to reason with them, tried to convince them to let me help them move – but every time, they became furious with me, telling me I had no right to tell them how to live their lives and that they had it all under control. It was not for a lack of trying on my part, or the part of other people who loved them.”
alicia witt/ instagram
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Further describing who her parents were, Witt said they “were not penniless” but “fiercely stubborn, beautifully original souls.” The star also said her parents made choices that she “couldn’t talk them out of.” Nonetheless, she said she would help them in any way they would allow her to do so.
“I struggle, as much as I helped, with what else could I have done — short of petitioning the court system for taking control of two otherwise very sharp, very independent, very capable adults. They were a united, intertwined, indivisible force, determined to do things their own way,” she said. “Knowing they had each other — battling them the way I would have had to in order to do this truly felt like it would have destroyed them. I had no idea that their heat had gone out. I will never understand how or why they made the choice not to tell me this, not to let me help them with this. My heart is broken.”
Witt added, “And even if I could have had a crystal ball and looked into the future — if I could have said to them ‘You are going to break my heart and the hearts of all who love you with a worst-case-scenario ending if you don’t let us help you’ — I still think they would have made the same choices. They weren’t willing to make different ones.”
Concluding her post, the actress briefly recalled her final conversation with her parents.
“Our last words to each other were ‘I love you,’ ” she said. “That part was simple; never in doubt. They loved me so. I loved them so.”
Her parents were found dead in their home a few days before Christmas. At the time, the singer reached out to a nearby relative to check on them.
According to Telegram & Gazette, authorities at the scene found no signs of noxious gases and did not suspect apparent trauma had occurred. The local newspaper added that “freezing temperatures, a malfunctioning furnace, a temporary space heater and a home in need of repairs” were potential contributors to Robert and Diane’s deaths.
The National Weather Service also indicated that the night before their passing, temperatures dropped to the lowest point that month at 15 degrees.
Robert and Diane’s cause of death has yet to be released.