The death of a celebrity always strikes a terrible blow. Not just to those who knew them, but to the public as well. Through their films, music, or TV appearances, we feel like we knew them. We feel like we grew up with them. But the truth of death is far more mundane, and far more personal than that. While we move on to another celebrity tragedy, those family members are still left grieving and often forgotten. Like Meadow Walker. But she hasn't become broken - she's come out of the other side of her father's death stronger than ever...
The Terrible Tragedy
Few can forget the awful news that came to us on November 30, 2013. At 3:30pm, while driving to a charity event with his friend Roger Rodas, Roger's Porsche Carrera GT crashed into a concrete lamp pole at over 80mph, killing both of them instantly. It was an incredible shock to the world. Paul was only 40 years old, and in the prime of his life...
A Big Personality
Amongst the Hollywood greats, there was perhaps no light that shone so bright as Paul Walker. He may not have been the greatest thespian, but he was incredible handsome, charming, and never in any kind of trouble. In short, a really, really nice guy. Everyone who worked with him loved him, and every person who went to see him at the cinema became an instant fan.
A Glittering Career
There's no doubt that Paul will be most fondly remembered for his series of starring roles in the Fast & Furious franchise (number seven was filming at the time of his death). But his career spanned so many more classics than that. From She's All That, to Varsity Blues, to Flags of Our Fathers, Paul was an actor who brought gravity to every role and never failed to light up the screen.
The scenes in the days following his untimely death were chaotic and filled with heartbreak. Everybody was in shock, and many of his co-stars could not contain their grief, openly weeping at events and the funeral. The fans, too, were in complete disbelief, with messages of sympathy pouring in from across the globe. But in all the turmoil, one person was forgotten...
Few people realized it at the time, and even fewer people know it now, but Paul Walker had a fifteen-year-old daughter at the time of his death. Named Meadow Walker, she was - to use an old cliché - truly the apple of his eye. Father and daughter were inseparable and their mutual love was no tabloid trickery. Out of everyone in the world, Paul's death left her completely devastated.
A Bitter Custody Battle
Meadow's birth was the result of a long-time girlfriend that Paul had had, Rebecca Soteros. Although they had been in love at the time, in recent years Rebecca and Paul had broken up and Meadow's mother had taken hard to the bottle. In a desperate bid to give Meadow a normal life, he sent her to his parents. But Rebecca wasn't happy with this, and an acrimonious custody battle ensued.
Taking Time Off
After her father's death, Meadow was simply shell-shocked. It's a lot for anyone to take - the death of a parent - let alone a growing 15-year-old girl. But to her credit, Meadow showed herself to be the mature and wise young woman she had already become. She took time off from social media and school, let her grief pour out, and then continued on, just like her father would have wanted.
Now, She's 18
It's hard to believe that it's been three whole years (almost four, actually) since Paul Walker was taken from this Earth, but it's true. In that time, Meadow really has grown up into the beautiful, whip-smart, and compassionate woman that her father would be proud of. She graduated from high school and has big plans...
For starters, Meadow is determined to continue fighting the good fight that her father started. Paul was a staunch activist and defender of animal rights, and his Paul Walker Foundation - which rescued endangered and abused sea creatures - is just one of the many organizations he helped to found. She's going to continue that amazing work, no matter how much it costs.
Continuing The Legacy
And it's not just in continuing her father's foundation that Meadow is showing that she's truly her dad's daughter. She's starting charities of her own, promoting "spontaneous acts of goodwill" and working to improve human rights across the world. There's no doubt that wherever Paul Walker is now, he's incredibly proud of his daughter.
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