Keanu Reeves lost his ex-girlfriend and their daughter.
He never got married. But he showed up to his fan’s wedding despite his past grief.
Keanu cannot say “no” to his fans. He always cares about them, talks with them, or even calls them directly.
Movie star, Keanu Reeves, has endured endless tragedies over the years. He and his then-girlfriend, actress Jennifer Syme, were expecting their first child together when tragedy struck.
The couple’s daughter, Ava Archer Syme-Reeves, was stillborn on Christmas Eve in 1999, eight months into Syme’s pregnancy. Reeves and his significant other were left devastated by the loss.
But before long, tragedy struck again.
In 1991, his younger sister was diagnosed with leukemia that she battled for years.
Reeves started a private foundation that donates to children’s hospitals and cancer research.
— Polina M. Pompliano (@polina_marinova) March 24, 2021
Unfortunately, they broke up weeks after the death of their child. The Hollywood pair met in 1998 at a promotional party and immediately “fell in love” with each other.
Sadly, two years after losing their daughter, Reeves suffered more heartbreak when Syme died in a car accident. She had attended a party and was offered a ride back home but instead chose to drive herself in her Jeep back to the event while drunk. Consequently, she crashed into parked cars and died on the scene.
Grieving Syme’s untimely passing, Reeves reportedly said he found it “very, very difficult to cope with her death.” To face the tragedy head-on, he took up the role of John Wick, who lost his wife in the 2014 movie. Of the character, the Canadian native said:
“I thought it was one of the foundations of the role. I love his grief. I relate to that, and I don’t think you ever work through it. Grief and loss don’t ever go away.”
Reeves further explained that grief and loss stay with a person despite their stage in life, “It’s always with you, but like an ebb and flow.”
Since losing his longtime partner and child, Reeves never married or had any kids. And for a long time, he never revealed he was in a relationship until recent years.
He went public with his artist girlfriend, Alexandra Grant, whom he met in 2009 and was friends with for years. The pair crossed paths eight years after Syme passed away and bonded over what Reeves deemed his “self-pity” poetry.
His relationship with Grant was the first he had gone public with in years, as he decided to keep some of his past relationships under wraps. He and the Ohio native had been together publicly for more than two years and a reportedly madly in love.
However, that is not to say that Reeves has fully grieved for his former love and child, and he explained why that is. The actor said people have a pre-conceived notion that people who lose their loved ones could quickly go through the grieving process and it is all over:
“People have a misconception that you can deal with it and say, ‘It’s gone, and I’m better.’ They’re wrong. When the people you love are gone, you’re alone.”
Reeves admitted that he longs to have the people he lost back in his life and misses being a part of their lives too. He added that he ponders how their lives would have turned out were they still alive and what he would have accomplished with them:
“I miss all the great things that will never be. Damn it! It’s not fair! It’s absurd.”
“The Matrix” star stated that all a person could do is remain hopeful that one day, their grief would be “transformed” and that in place of “feeling pain and confusion,” they would be reunited with their loved ones “in memory” and that there would be comfort and gratification and not only “loss.”
Reeves expanded on the subject of death in May 2019 when he appeared on “The Late Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” The host asked him what he thinks occurs when one dies, and he took a moment before he answered:
“I know that the ones who love us will miss us.”
Apart from losing his love and daughter, Reeves also lost his beloved friend, actor River Phoenix – who died from a drug overdose at age 23 in 1993. When he lost his beloved pal, Reeves was also 23 years old and was filming the action movie “Speed” with actress Sandra Bullock. She revealed that the Oregon native’s death significantly impacted Reeves, who tried his best to hide it at the time. “He hides great pain,” she disclosed.
Reeves himself admitted that he felt “terribly” about Phoenix’s passing, adding he was “Incredibly sad. And, I miss him very much.” When speaking on his friendship with Phoenix, he shared that he was like an “older brother,” to him but “only shorter.” Reeves previously expressed his love for “My Own Private Idaho” co-star during a joint interview, adding: “I’ve always loved you, River. River is my best friend, and I don’t have many of them.”
The mega-star also has a particular perspective on love. When Reeves appeared on “The Drew Barrymore Show,” he and the actress-turned-television host debated about the subject when she said, “I’m not a fighter. I’m a lover.” To which he replied:
“No, because if you’re a lover, you’ve got to be a fighter. If you don’t fight for your love, what kind of love do you have?”
Reeves Shows up at a Couple’s Wedding
Despite his grief from losing loved ones and never getting hitched, Reeves is all for love. In August 2022, he was brave enough to show up at a fan’s wedding, which stunned the bride and groom.
The “Point Break” star appeared unexpectedly at Nikki and James Roadnight’s wedding reception. The UK couple exchanged wedding vows in front of friends, family, and Nikki’s then-five-year-old daughter, following two years together.
The wedding occurred at the Fawsley Hall in Northamptonshire when James learned that the Hollywood star was staying at the hotel. In an interview, his newly wedded wife recalled that he bumped into him before the reception at a “bar area” and told him he had gotten married while asking him to come over to celebrate their nuptials if he did not mind.
She further explained Reeves warmly received the invitation and told her husband he would drop by “later on.” Still, they did not expect him to show up as he said and only appreciated the fact that he politely interacted with James.
While enjoying their special day, a staff member approached Nikki an hour later and informed her that a “very special guest” stood outside and wanted to see her. She was greeted by the “Speed” star when she eventually made her way outside.
Nikki expressed exhilaration when she reminisced about the encounter. She recalled introducing herself to the movie star and asking him whether he wanted something to quench his thirst, but he politely turned down the offer.
He explained he had been on a “long flight” and would only remain for a short while. Still, Reeves gave Nikki something to rave about as she revealed he was pleasant enough to wish her and her newly wedded husband well on their new life together:
“He was so kind and friendly and congratulated us on our wedding.”
Nikki added that Reeves was so accommodating that he took pictures with them and made time to engage with the guests while taking more photos. She admitted that she and her wedding guests were left “a bit star-struck” by his presence, even though the encounter became the main subject on her wedding day.
The British native shared that her mother also took photos that day and asked everyone to shout out “Speed” while capturing the moments. They all burst into laughter upon her request, as it was Reeves’ old movie.