Article Dec 17, 2016

You are no longer passing

Helen Mirren 'enlightened' and 'energized' by bittersweet Hollywood memorials

Helen Mirren felt a sense of enlightenment after attending the memorials of her late friends Alan Rickman and Garry Marshall, because the funerals highlighted how "amazing" their lives were.

The Queen actress, 71, insists losing her industry pals has been tough, but she is thankful their loved ones have been left with so many great memories and anecdotes about their personal and professional achievements.

"I'm of an age now that I start going to more memorials," she lamented on talk show The View. "My darling friend Alan Rickman died last year; I went to his memorial, great actor. The wonderful Garry Marshall, the most brilliant, incredible American producer of television and movies, (died in July, 2016).

"These were such great people, so when you go to their memorial, it's so inspiring, and also very fun, because there's always a lot of very funny stories," she shared. "Of course you feel sad that you've lost your beloved friend or colleague, but you also feel so enlightened and joyful and energized about this beautiful life that this person has led."

And Helen reveals she has made a point to take something positive away from each memorial.

"It teaches you," she said. "I'm a great believer in learning, life is a constant learning curve, really, so I learn from these people's lives, and I think you learn how to be a better person.

"You think, 'Wow, what an amazing life,' (when you read their obituaries), so you can have an amazing life and in a weird way, death is the thing that reveals the amazingness of that life."