Actor Ben Stiller is still trying to process his grief following the death of his mother, comedienne Anne Meara, last spring (15).
Beloved actress Anne died on 23 May (15) at the age of 85, and two days after her passing, Ben took to social media to thank fans for their condolences and outpouring of support.
"Thank you so much for all the kind words about Anne," he wrote on Twitter. "All of us in our family feel so lucky to have had her in our lives."
Now Ben is opening up about the loss of his mom, admitting he has been struggling to come to terms with her death.
"Honestly, it happened so recently that I'm still processing it," he told Parade magazine. "It affects me constantly. You know, you're going through your life, everything is great and then like, Pow! She's not here. It's hard for me."
The 50-year-old, whose father is funnyman Jerry Stiller, credits Anne with inspiring his wacky sense of humor, particularly as he developed his characters for the Meet the Parents film franchise and his new comedy, Zoolander 2.
"Obviously, my dad is a huge person in my life," he explained. "I love him. But my mom was the person that I most looked up to for her point of view, her humor."
"To the end, my mother never lost her sense of humor," Ben continued.
He has since found a way to feel close to his mother through his comedy work.
"I feel a connection as deeply to my mom now as I did when she was here," he said. "I really felt with her that she wasn't just going away, because she believed, as I do, that after we die there is something more."