Julia Louis-Dreyfus has indeed had a “rough couple of years.” The comedian recently sat down with The New Yorker where she discussed many things including her battle with breast cancer. But the 57-year-old was also quite open about the death of her sister Emma.

“It was out of the blue,” Julia told the outlet, just four months since her 44-year-old sister passed unexpectedly after suffering a seizure while on a camping trip in the Sierra Nevadas. News also quickly came out that revealed that Julia’s sister had cocaine and alcohol in her body. “Given the fact that that heinous s–t came out, I would simply say I’ve kept this under wraps out of reverence for my dearest Emma,” Julia said, also adding, “It’s been a very bad period of time.” Julia received the news of her sister’s passing just as she had returned to work on her show Veep. The show had been on a hiatus while Julia dealt with her health.

Julia Louis
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Julia did say that while she had to deal with a lot of tragedy in her life, it was laughter that got her through it. The New Yorker recalled some of the speech Julia made while accepting the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. “The old cliché about laughter being the best medicine turns out to be true,” Julia said during her speech. “When I was getting my hideous chemotherapy, I’d cram a bunch of friends and family into the tiny treatment room with me. We really did have some great laughs. Of course, I was heavily medicated and slipping in and out of consciousness, so I was a pretty easy audience, but my point is that laughter is a basic human need, along with love and food and an HBO subscription.”

Julia has been quite courageous speaking about her battle with cancer and now touching on the subject of the death of her sister, but if there is one thing about Julia that everyone knows is that she’s always been honest whether in her comedy or in her life.