On the same day that Carrie Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd, spoke out publicly for the first time since her mother’s and grandmother’s deaths last week, Carrie’s half-sister actress Joely Fisher has also penned a tribute in an exclusive for The Hollywood Reporter. In the touching yet fierce remembrance, Fisher eulogizes her late sibling, writing, “You all lost Princess Leia and Carrie Fisher; I lost my hero, my mentor, my mirror.”
According to Joely, she and Carrie had been texting in the days before Carrie left London on that “fateful flight,” conversations in which Carrie congratulated her sister on the endurance of her marriage and in which they pledged to spend Christmas together. “It’s a promise we kept, although not in a way either of us had anticipated,” Joely writes, detailing the vigil she kept at Carrie’s bedside in the days that followed her heart attack. The letter also touches upon their somewhat shared upbringing, one in which Joely and her mother, actress Connie Stevens, moved into a Malibu house that happened to be next to Carrie and Debbie Reynolds (Joely is a decade younger than Carrie; she says her and Carrie’s father, Eddie Fisher, visited them all just once).
The letter also includes details about memorial services and burial plans; according to Joely, Debbie Reynolds and Carrie will be “laid to rest together,” though they will receive separate memorial services (this is in contrast to media speculation that there would be a joint service). Fisher also hints she is planning on writing a book, perhaps picking up the pen where her sister left it (so to speak), and indicates that her focus now is on her niece. “My sister Tricia Leigh and I vow to be whatever our niece Billie needs us to be. We will pick up the saber, use the force … whatever.” Joely also paid tribute to Carrie’s mother, Debbie Reynolds, or “Mama Debs” as she calls her, with whom she had a good relationship. “I want them back,” Joely writes, “but since I know that is not possible, I will soldier on.” Read the entire letter here.