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Jurnee Smollett Pens Gut-Wrenching Tribute to Michael K. Williams as He’s Laid to Rest

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Jurnee Smollett is honoring the legacy of the late Michael K. Williams.

Just days after the actor's heartbreaking death, his Lovecraft Country co-star took to Instagram to pay tribute. "My brother, my heart hurts so," Jurnee wrote in a Sept. 14 Instagram post, alongside a series of photos featuring the two on set. "A part of my brain refuses to accept it… s--tty part of grief, it goes in stages."

"For me, it started with denial," she continued. "When @jakesmollett called to tell me, my brain went ‘hell naw, that's not true, let me call Michael.' And I called him. I called him over & over until my brain said, ‘Stop, he's gone.' I couldn't breathe. Taken a while for my brain to metabolize how the world can continue to spin w/out him here in the physical form. He was supposed to be here with us this week in L.A. for the Emmys."

Celebrity Deaths: 2021's Fallen Stars

Michael, who was laid to rest at St. Stephen's Episcopal Cathedral in Pennsylvania on Sept. 14, was set to attend the upcoming 2021 Emmys on Sept. 19, where his performance as Montrose Freeman in Lovecraft Country earned him a nomination in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series category.

Jurnee Smollett, Michael K. Williams
Eli Joshua Ade/HBO

Referring to her 4-year-old son, Jurnee also wrote, "He was supposed to see how big Hunter is. We were gonna dance, celebrate, cry. Instead, our brother was laid to rest today. I still can't make sense of it. Perhaps it's selfish of me to want to hold onto this beautiful man that came into my life & forever changed it."

As E! News previously reported, Williams passed away on Monday, Sept. 6 at the age of 54.

A representative for Williams confirmed the news to The Hollywood Reporter in a statement, sharing, "It is with deep sorrow that the family announces the passing of Emmy nominated actor Michael Kenneth Williams. They ask for your privacy while grieving this unsurmountable loss."

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