Laila Ali and the kids are moving forward after standing by Muhammad Ali’s side through his death. The celebrity mom tells Good Morning America that she and the family were there as Muhammad took his final breath.
“We all were there and that doesn’t always happen, when everybody has the opportunity to be there, so that was very nice,” Ali says of her immediate and extended families’ presence. “It was a very peaceful time and we sent him off in a very peaceful way,” she added.
Muhammad Ali died of septic shock at a hospital in Scottsdale, Arizona on Friday, June 3, 2016. The former boxer suffered from Parkinson’s disease for more than 30 years before his death.
“That man continues to put me in awe,” Laila told media months before her father’s passing. “He’s such a fighter, still, when at times he seems weak and not able to handle it.”
The star mom also commented on the impact that her father’s illness had on her children. “[Curtis Jr.] knows a grandpa that can’t walk or talk anymore, and to see him next to MLK, to him a guy of the past, made him confused,” Laila said of her son’s feelings after seeing a picture of Muhammad Ali with the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “The next day he came back to me and started talking about death. He had put together that MLK Jr. had passed away and that Papa might, too. He said, ‘I don’t want you to die, Papa!’ It was a tender moment I’ll never forget. The emotion was too much for him, he covered his face. He couldn’t process it.”
Muhammad Ali is recognized as the greatest fighter of all time. He was the proud father of nine children and several grandkids.