So sad. Famed journalist Katie Couric took to Instagram on Thursday, Oct. 18, to pay tribute to her late sister, Emily, who tragically died in 2001 at age 54 from pancreatic cancer.
“My sister Emily passed away 17 years ago today. She was 54. Emily was remarkable. Whip-smart, driven and compassionate, the eldest child in the Couric family who set a wonderful example (and high bar) for the three who followed,” she sweetly wrote next to an old black and white headshot of Emily.
Following Emily’s passing, her husband, George, her friends and family (Katie also has a sister Clara and a brother John), and the people of Virginia established the Emily Couric Cancer Center at the University of Virginia in her memory.
Fans immediately took to the comments to share their condolences. “Lovely story, always well-written. What a lucky sister she was to be so loved!” one follower wrote. Another added, “I’m so sorry to hear this. Thinking of you.” One commented, “May her memory be a blessing to you and your family.”
Another fan even told Katie the story of how they lost their own family member to the disease. “I am sorry you lost your sister to pancreatic cancer. We lost our 32-year-old son to pancreatic cancer in January of this year. He was diagnosed in March 2017 and passed in January 2018. Life will never be the same without him.”
Unfortunately for Katie, Emily isn’t the only person close to her whom she’s lost. Twenty years ago, she sadly lost her beloved husband, Jay Monahan, to colon cancer when he was just 42 years old. His death left Katie a single mother to two young girls.
“I think I overprotected him,” she said during a previous interview with WNYC’s Death, Sex, and Money podcast. “I encouraged the doctors not to tell him how incredibly bleak the prognosis was. I didn’t want to ruin the time he had left with just hopelessness.”
She added, “I wish that I had the courage to really talk to my husband about the fact that he was probably going to die. It was too terrifying. I think that prevented me… from ever really saying goodbye.” At least Kelly knows she has two beautiful angels looking over her every day…