“Everybody Loves Raymond” star Patricia Heaton shared a heartbreaking message on social media this week, reflecting on the death of her brother, Michael. “I’m still processing the fact that I will never see or speak to my brother again in this lifetime,” Heaton wrote.

Michael Heaton, 66, was a reporter, features writer, and columnist for The Plain Dealer, an Ohio newspaper. He penned the “Minister of Culture” column for over three decades and was well-known in journalism before his 2018 retirement.

Patricia Heaton, mourning this tragic loss, shared footage of a “beautiful interview” from 2012 that local outlet WEWS-TV conducted with her brother, whom she called a “very excellent human being.” In the TV exchange, Michael Heaton spoke about his famous sister, his work as a journalist, and their family dynamics growing up. “People always say, ‘Oh, you poor thing,’” Michael said of growing up with four sisters.

However, he said he didn’t quite see it as a bad thing. Michael joked, “I got my own room, no hand-me-down clothes, and I dated all their friends.” The special sibling relationship between Patricia and Michael came through as he reflected on his sister, calling the actress a “heavy achiever” as a child — a person involved in multiple clubs who was always a “go-getter.

He also joked that he’s responsible for her Hollywood career. “I have to take credit for all of her success,” he jested, explaining how he moved to New York City to work for People magazine, and Heaton later followed him. After a visit to New York to see him one weekend, he said she went back to college and changed her major from journalism to drama.

 

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As for his sister’s monumental Hollywood success, he said he was “surprised and yet … not surprised.” “We had a very funny family. Laughs were very important to us,” Michael Heaton said, explaining how laughs got the family through their mother’s death when he was 14 and Patricia was 12. “Humor really helped us through it.”

Last week, Michael’s friends and colleagues paid tribute to him on social media. “Goodbye, my friend. Minister of Culture. Master of Discarded Metal. Loyal friend. Proud father. Court jester. Wag. Reliable wingman. Seeker of happiness. ‘It’s a joke, don’t you get it?'” Mike McIntrye, the executive editor of Ideastream Public Media, tweeted. “Michael Heaton was such a brilliantly kind and funny man and generous colleague, and the world is, without question, worse without him. RIP, Minister,” wrote Henry J. Gomez.

According to a Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s report, Michael died at home, but no cause of death was immediately given. Losing a family member is never easy, especially when it’s a sibling. However, it’s good that Patricia has a love of her other siblings to comfort her. As for the days to come, there’s no doubt that Patricia will have good days and bad days. However, plenty of Bible verses can help Patricia and her family through this difficult time. In times like these, God is always the best source of comfort, and He will turn your bad days into good ones.

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