Dwight Howard is mourning the loss of Melissa Rios, the mother of his six-year-old son David.
Rios died of an epileptic seizure late last month at her home in California.
Howard shared the heartbreaking news with reporters on Friday.
“I’ve had some things happen in my personal life that has been difficult to really handle,” Howard said on a conference call.
“My son’s mom, she had passed away a month and a half ago and it’s extremely difficult for me to try to understand how to talk to my son, who’s six years old, just about the whole situation.”
David has been staying with Howard at his home in Georgia.
The Lakers big man was planning to invite Rios to his house to spend time with their son.
“Every moment counts,” Howard said. “Be grateful for every situation that you have, just be grateful for life. I think we also take for granted the little things and just spending time with people and stuff like that.
“And you know after having all these situations, it’s like, reconfirming to me just stay in the moment. Always be grateful. Always be grateful for everything you have, every little thing that happens.”
Howard added that the NBA shutdown had been “bittersweet”.
“It’s bittersweet because I do want to play basketball, but my son right now needs me more than anything,” he said.