There’s no doubt that we’ve all dealt with difficulty, hardship, and struggle in our lives. We often forget that the lives of the rich and famous deal with the same hurt, pain, trauma and loss that we have. Keanu Reeves is no exception. The well known actor is iconic for hit films like the Matrix (and its many sequals) as well as John Wick, and many others.
The well known actor could be presumed to live a normal life with a healthy home life, and a relatively easy path being rich and famous and having a lot of money to purchase material possessions, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, some people say that Keanu Reeves has had the hardest life of any Hollywood celebrity. I’m not here to judge, and when we judge pains and traumas against others, or against our own it tends to distance ourselves from gratitude and focusing on the good.
Keanu is very loved by fans of his, the matrix being one of the most iconic films of all time representing the difference between regular society and the truth behind the scenes. The whole red pill, blue pill analogy. He was featured in four matrix films now, and who knows, maybe more will be released in the future as it’s a popular film and film series now.
Keanu Reeves Dealt With A Lot Of Personal Hardship in His Life
At just 3 years old his father walked out on his mother and him, abandoning him to be raised by a single mother. His father was neglectful of Keanu and a drug addict. Not leaving the best parenting impression on Keanu even while he was there. At 7 years old his mother and his siblings moved to Toronto.
Then, during school he dealt with dyslexia and had a hard time learning. He dropped out of four different schools. Never feeling smart enough to handle the challenges of life in the school system. He never ended up graduating high school, but is now an avid reader thanks to sheer will and determination.
In 1989 he broke out as a true star because of one film. Magazines went crazy over him and turned him into a star overnight.
After he got out of school his best friend River Phoenix, lost his life to a drug overdose. I’m grateful to have never lost a really close friend, let alone my best friend. That is a huge heartache. Loss that cannot be recovered. He was devastated by this but fought like hell to not fall into a depression and to keep his focus on his career.
Later in life Keanu Reeves discovered motorcycles and fell in love with the open road, sunshine and wind in his face. After finding this hobby as a way to feel free and alive he spilled on the pavement one time and ended up laying on the pavement for 30 minutes thinking he was going to die before he got help. When he finally got help, his side was so damage and bruised that he had to get his spleen removed. He still rides to this day. Talk about brave. I used to ride motorcycles myself and I know that would take me off bikes for good personally. I really like my internal organs and not having to need surgery, that’s probably why.
In the 90’s directors really began to love to work with Reeves. He truly committed himself to roles and that it made it easier on directors and their vision for their films. He was beginning to fall in love as well, with his girlfriend Jennifer Syme.
At 34 years of age things were looking up for Keanu. He met the love of his life and got married that same year. Unfortunately two years later they had a stillborn child. The baby died in his wife’s womb and it caused a challenge in their marriage. This caused their marriage to end up failing, another loss in Keanu’s life. After trying to move on from the loss of his baby, and loss of the love of his life just 1.5 years later his former wife died in a car crash. Leaving all hopes of having a family dead and gone.
At this point, I could see one questioning God, questioning existence and questioning the very nature of being alive? What’s the point if everything you love is taken away, ripped from your arms.
Shattered from these losses to this day, he avoids getting close to a woman to build a family and a home with, which is probably what he craves and desires most, having lost it all.
After the loss of his baby and former wife, he asked for peace and time from the studio as he was scheduled to shoot the next Matrix film. After coming back he renegotiated with the studio to the crew got a share of his fee. This cost him quite literally 10’s of millions of dollars.
Reeves was quoted as saying..
Money is the last thing I think about. I could live on what I have already made for the next few centuries.
When the losses kept coming, to pile onto all this madness and sense of loss his sister was diagnosed with Leukemia and thankfully she survived. But she suffered for over 10 years from this and during that time Keanu was by her side supporting her. He is a frequent donor to many charitable causes. He even started a charitable foundation of his own.
Keanu Reeves is not your typical Hollywood star.
He’s the only Hollywood star that is wealthy, he’s worth about $100 Million USD, yet he doesn’t live in a mansion. He rides the subway instead of driving a fancy car or being chauffeured around town like he could.
Not only that, but it is said that he has donated 70% of his financial gains from the Matrix films to charity. Even after seeing the darkest pains and traumas in life, losing multiple loved ones, losing his family and feeling a sense of hopelessness he refuses to be bitter and treat the world in the way that it seems to have treated him.
He’s one of the Hollywood few that has a heart of gold, and puts other people before himself. You have got to respect a human being with that much dignity, grace, and a heart of giving and service to humanity even through the darkest of times. He’s a humanitarian going strong even after seeing the darkest side of life.
In 2006 Reeves Told Parade Magazine..
Grief changes shape, but it never ends.
It’s a lesson that we’ll all likely have to learn in one way or another. How true, and wise. Thank you for your valuable life lessons Keanu.