Charlie Murphy and wife Tisha Taylor shared a love story that endured time and tragedy, a relationship that has come into new focus after the comedian’s tragic death.
Murphy’s death on Wednesday after a battle with leukemia has brought an outpouring of love and support to his family. It has also drawn attention back to Charlie’s late wife, who endured her own battle with cancer close to a decade ago.
Tisha’s 2009 death was a turning point in Charlie’s life, one that left him introspective but determined to move forward for the sake of their children.
Despite the pain of losing his wife so young, Charlie Murphy would still light up when talking about the the love they shared. In a 2011 interview with Esquire, Charlie said he knew instantly that Tisha was the one for him.
“For me, it was an instant. The first night I met Tisha was on a boat,” Charlie told the magazine. “She was having dinner with her friends. She didn’t know who I was, and I asked her to come with me. Her friends told her not to go. But she did. We drove straight to my brother’s house. My mother was there. My stepfather was there. Eddie was there. They were all in the kitchen. I walked in and said, ‘This is my future wife.’ “
The two fell in love, and as Charlie said, it was perfect.
“We fit,” Charlie Murphy said. “I don’t believe that you can meet another person that fits just like that. She wasn’t even another person. She’s a mirror, you know what I mean. It was like that for twenty years.”
While meeting Tisha Taylor was one of the best moments of Charlie’s wife, the moment he found out his wife had cervical cancer was one of the lowest. In the Esquire interview, Charlie Murphy said he struggled to understand how his otherwise healthy wife could be struck by such a serious ailment.
“I came home and she’s in the kids’ room, crying. That’s when she told me. Cervical cancer,” he said. “You don’t really grasp it. When the person tells you they’re going to die, you go crazy. You become a different person from the moment you hear those words. A young woman like that — don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t do drugs. I know people that’s ninety who do all of that.”
Tisha Taylor endured a two-year battle with cancer before dying in 2009. As Charlie would say in a statement through his publicist, Tisha passed away with her husband and their children by her side.The loss was hard on all of them, especially their youngest child.
“My daughter’s five years old, man. She asks for her mother every day,” he told Esquire in 2011.
Afterward, Charlie Murphy said he was devastated but had to keep moving forward for the sake of his children. Charlie continued to work and even go on tour, Rolling Stone noted. Last year, he appeared in the Comedy Get Down tour along with Cedric The Entertainer, Eddie Griffin, D.L. Hughley, and George Lopez. He was also a voice actor in the series Black Dynamite and Black Jesus and appeared in the 2016 film Meet the Blacks.
The devastation of losing his wife also gave Charlie Murphy new perspective on pain and the importance of grasping what he had while he still had it.
“Don’t take life for granted. Don’t take people for granted,” he said.
Charlie Murphy may have made a reference to that pain and the loss of Tisha Taylor Murphy in a final message, Rolling Stone noted. On Tuesday night, Charlie posted a note on Twitter that read, “One to Sleep On: Release the past to rest as deeply as possible.”
[Featured Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]