Young & Restless’ Eileen Davidson Bares Her Soul About the Tragedies That Left Her So Upset, ‘Sometimes I Would Have to Run Off Set’

Tragedy, we all know, isn’t limited to the daytime world. Sometimes so many things go so horribly wrong that life can start to feel like something out of a drama, carefully scripted to break us down.

When The Young and the Restless‘ Eileen Davidson (Ashley) sat down to talk to General Hospital‘s Maurice Benard (Sonny) for his State of Mind vlog, she opened up about a period in her life when loss just kept hitting her over and over again — and in some of the most painful ways it could.

“One of my sisters died in my arms,” Davidson recalled. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer and, after initially opting for surgery, decided she wanted to treat it homeopathically instead.

“Anybody who wants to choose that road, I am not sitting in judgement of you,” Davidson made clear. “But her daughter, who was my nanny at the time, was living with us and her mom chose to go all over the world and try clinics.” If the family wanted a relationship with Davidson’s sister, no one was ever allowed to mention she had cancer. “It was just very crazy.”

Finally, though, after exhausting all her options, she decided she would get surgery. Sadly, it was too late — though that wasn’t immediately apparent.

Vince Van Patten & YR's Eileen Davidson

Davidson’s sister was just one of far too many loved ones she and husband Vince Van Patten lost in a short period of time.

“She did lie to us,” Davidson recalled. “She had the doctor lie. The doctor told me to my face, ‘Your sister has at least ten more years.’”

The actress had her doubts because her sister didn’t look well at all, but since the doctor was insisting it, what did the rest of the family know? It wasn’t long, though, before the truth came out. One of the nurses called Davidson at six in the morning and told her that if she wanted to see her sister, she had to do it now.

“She was three and a half hours away,” the actress explained. “So I called Y&R and said, ‘I can’t.’” She got her niece in the car and the two drove up as quickly as they could. But by then, her sister was already in a coma. Davidson and her niece sat with her all day until it was time to take her off life support. That, though, was a decision her 26 year old niece wasn’t prepared to make. Deciding when it was time to say farewell to her mom was too heartbreakingly difficult. And that’s when, as Davidson put it, a “miracle” happened.

Her sister sat up, struggled to get her oxygen mask off and wouldn’t relent until the doctors got rid of it. She then laid back down and passed away peacefully on her own, saving her daughter from the burden of having to make the decision.

But that, it turns out, was only the start.

“I lost a lot of people when I was on the Housewives,” Davidson told Benard. “It was crazy. It was the weirdest thing. I lost my sister, my niece — during those three years that I was on — a sister, a niece, a brother, my mother, a nephew, my father-in-law, my husband’s cousin, who was like a brother, his uncle, three or four of our closest friends. Like close, close friends.”

Eden Sassoon, Lisa Vanderpump, Eileen Davidson, Kyle Richards, Lisa Rinna, Erika Girardi, Dorit Kemsley at arrivals for THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BEVERLY HILLS Season 7 Premiere Party, Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, Beverly Hills, CA December 2, 2016. Photo By: Priscilla Grant/Everett Collection

Davidson lost so many friends and family while on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, she stopped telling folks about them.

She lost so many loved ones that after awhile, she stopped telling people about it. “I had a job to do,” she explained, “and if everybody was trying to make me feel better, I couldn’t concentrate. Sometimes, I’d have to run off set. I would have to tell them, ‘You have to cut this. I don’t have the concentration to say this speech… So could you give it to her?’ So then I got to the point where I didn’t tell people.”

Instead, she did her best to compartmentalize. She went to work, did her best not to think about all that was happening, then dealt with it when she got home.

“But coming out of that,” Davidson marveled, “in a weird way, it brings you joy because you kind of appreciate how beautiful it all is. You come out the other side. You’re here.”

And as Benard suggested, the loved ones we lose wouldn’t want us to lose our lives to grief. They’d want us to mourn and move on with the beauty of life. “You realize it’s a part of life,” Davidson agreed, “and you have your bad days and your good days.”

Truer words have never been spoken.

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