• Fri. Dec 9th, 2022

Tamera Mowry-Housley Opens Up About Niece Who Died In Thousand Oaks Shooting: 'I Learned That Day How Much Love Can Hurt'

Oct 4, 2022

Tamera Mowry-Housley is opening up about the loss of her late niece Alaina Housley.

In November 2018, the 18-year-old was killed in a shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California. You may remember news of the horrific incident when a gunman wearing all black sprayed bullets into a crowd of hundreds of people, most of whom were students attending the bar’s college night. The shooting took the lives of 13 people, including Tamera’s niece.

In her memoir You Should Sit Down For This, which comes out on Tuesday, the Sister, Sister actress talks about the day she lost the girl whom she often referred to as her “favorite Housley”. In an excerpt from the book via People on Monday, she details the moments leading up to the tragic incident, recalling painfully:

“On the night of November 7, 2018, not too long after going to sleep, my husband’s phone rang. It was Arik, Adam’s brother, ‘Alaina went out dancing with friends, and there was a shooting — it’s all I know right now’. A shooting? Alaina? This is impossible, she has to be okay. The same nightmare that has destroyed too many families in this country had arrived in our bedroom — and unfortunately the nightmare was real.”

Heartbreaking. The anxiety the family must’ve felt in the moment is unimaginable…

The 44-year-old continued and spoke about how her niece “captured” her heart before she even met now-hubby Adam Housley in person:

“Alaina Housley. My sweet, sweet Alaina, you stole my heart when you were just five years old. By now you all know (I’m talking to you, readers!) I was emailing back and forth with Adam before I met him in person. In the first picture he sent me he was standing next to a tiny, bright-eyed, mocha-skinned beauty whose smile was larger than life. Alaina… your uncle was wise to include you in the first photo he shared with me, because who could resist your cuteness? Who wouldn’t want to go out with a man who so clearly adored his niece? I’ll admit it, when I first saw that picture, I thought, ‘Okay, I can definitely have kids with this man. If there’s any chance they’ll look like her, I’m all in!’”

Aww. So, so sweet…

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The Real star went on, once again saying Alaina was her “favorite Housley” — even over her husband:

“Alaina, you and I clicked instantly. We bonded over fun, girly things like manicures, hair braiding, makeup, and clothes. I was in love with Adam, and I was smitten with your entire family, but it didn’t take me long to come to a surprising conclusion. That you, Alaina, were my favorite Housley. You know that, right, Alaina? And I’m sorry for Adam! But it’s the honest-to-God truth. We sang so well together, too. I treasure the photograph of us right after we sang the national anthem together before the first Napa Valley 1839 soccer game. I often show that picture to people because it captures the essence of our relationship. Our faces show lots of love with a big side of silly. We look so proud and happy in that picture!”

The Twitches alum writes about how the then-18-year-old had a passion for acting and how she “stepped into the family tradition” by studying at Pepperdine University. The actress details how Alaina wanted her to come see her performances in stage plays, but she had missed them all due to being out of town. Sadly, she writes, she never knew she wouldn’t ever get another chance to see her niece perform onstage:

“But this is the part that haunts me sometimes. Alaina, you wanted me to come see you to talk about acting and your new life in college, and I couldn’t make it work. I didn’t think much of it, because I was going to see you at Aden’s birthday party the next week. In a million years I couldn’t have imagined I’d never see you again.”

Tamera was going to see Alaina the very next week. Just heartbreaking…

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The TV personality expressed her feelings on the situation to readers, speaking about how the teen’s future was cut short:

“It’s impossible to make sense of this. Someone with a gun went into a bar and stole your life along with the lives of eleven other innocent people. I ache for everything that was stolen. Your graduation from Pepperdine, your first job after college, the traveling you would have done, the men you would have dated, helping you through your first broken heart, the songs you would have sung, your wedding (you stole the show in mine you looked so pretty!), your first baby. We were robbed of all your potential—your entire future.”

Adam drove to Thousand Oaks after the news of the shooting to try and find Alaina, and the Seventeen Again star recalls calling the emergency hotline over and over again to no avail. Sadly, the unthinkable was confirmed after the 51-year-old arrived — their niece hadn’t survived:

“Those two little words carried so much power. An unbelievable amount of grief — ‘She’s gone’. It is not possible to describe what any of us felt. I can’t tell you what it was like to tell Ariah and Aden that their cousin was gone. Honestly, Alaina, I’m not entirely sure the words to describe this level of pain actually exist.”

Tamera describes the loss of her niece as one of the hardest things she’s ever had to go through — but she still feels thankful for all the lessons Alaina taught her in her short life:

“I learned that day how much love can hurt. Losing you hurt so much, and it still hurts a lot, but losing you also taught me to love. Even harder. I am going to love my people at full capacity — because we have no idea what’s going to happen, Alaina. You’re not even here, but you still taught me to love deeper, more fully, and without any reservation at all. I’m spreading as much love as I can around this world, and it’s all thanks to the privilege of knowing you.”

Wow, what an incredibly moving lesson to take from such a tragic situation. A great reminder for us to hug our loved ones a little tighter tonight.

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