It’s with great sadness that we report that Queen Latifah’s mother, Rita Owens, has passed away. After years of struggling with a heart condition, Ms. Rita Owens can now rest peacefully. The actress and veteran rapper released a statement to PEOPLE magazine as she announced her mother’s passing:
It is with a heavy heart that I share the news my mother, Rita Owens passed away today, shared Latifah. Anyone that has ever met her knows what a bright light she was on this earth. She was gentle, but strong, sweet, but sassy, worldly but pragmatic, a woman of great faith and certainly the love of my life. She had struggled with a heart condition for many years and her battle is now over, Latifah revealed. I am heartbroken but know she is at peace. Thank you for your kindness, support and respect for our privacy at this time. Much Love, Dana Owens (aka Queen Latifah), forever Rita Owens’ daughter.”
A Long Battle With Her Heart:
In September, the “Girl’s Trip” star announced that she loved being her mother’s caregiver as her mother battled with heart failure for over 13 years. The women had an incredible bond and through caring for her mother, Queen Latifah’s love grew as she shared with PEOPLE magazine the huge amount of respect she had for her mother.
I’ve just learned how much you can love a person and just how strong my mother is, Queen shared of her mother Rita Owens during a sit-down with PEOPLE Now. I’ve come to respect her in ways you can’t even imagine.
When Ms. Rita Owens learned of her condition, she was determined to live her life. A pillar of strength, Rita Owens gathered Queen Latifah and the rest of her family members to educate them on how they could help her manage her life. After learning in 2006 that her mother was diagnosed with health failure, Queen placed heart health as a priority.
My mom is stronger than anyone I’ve ever known. Growing up, when life got hard her strength helped pull us through, the actress said in a PSA for the American Heart Association. In 2013, Owens was diagnosed with scleroderma, an incurable autoimmune disease that caused scar tissue to build up in her lungs, requiring her to be on oxygen 24/7.
To educate others, in 2015, Queen Latifah and her mother teamed up with American Heart Association’s Rise Above Heart Failure effort to pay homage to the 6 million Americans living with heart failure as well as they wanted to encourage others to prioritize their health. To support her mother, Queen took “red steps” by changing her diet as well as exercising. It was a wake up call for Queen and she stepped up to the plate. Being her mother’s champion, Queen Latifah shared with Essence how she ensured that her mother ate fresh fruits, vegetables, and healthy snacks. To help her mother maintain a low sodium diet, they cooked at home a lot. Queen was committed to making her life and the life of her mother as healthy as possible.
The notion of heart disease being the number one killer of women is something we sometimes forget, Latifah shared with Essence. Latifah got her own wake-up call on taking care of our hearts. My trainer, Jeanette Jenkins, said to me once, If we could see our bodies from the inside the way we see it from the outside, we would take much better care of ourselves. You can’t really see your heart the way you see your eyes, lips or hips when you look in the mirror.
Recently, Queen took to Instagram to thank her friends and family members for their support as she prayed for her mom to recover. While her mother never gave up the fight, her battle is over and she can rest peacefully.
Source & Credit: iloveoldschoolmusic.com