On March 29, Toni Braxton made an appearance on The Tamron Hall Show where she opened up about the tragic passing of her sister, Traci Braxton. Tuesday was the first time that the “Breath Again” crooner had spoken since losing her younger sister to Esophageal Cancer nearly two weeks ago.
Toni Speaks On Her Sister Traci’s Passing
“I wake up every morning and I go, ‘Did I dream it? Did I dream it?’ and I have to remind myself, ‘No, she’s gone, but she’s been here with us for 50 years,'” Braxton shared of how she was coping with Traci’s death. “So, I try to relish in that moment and try to smile about it and just be grateful for the time you have and you have to always remember to be kind to one another.”
The 54-year-old R&B icon held back tears as she began to detail Traci’s final moments.
“Her son was there, her husband was there, everyone was there. Her best friends were there,” Braxton said of the day her sister died. “She had so much love. The hospice nurses were incredible. You never think that it’s going to happen to you and your family. So you have to remind yourself to enjoy the moments, be happy.”
Leading up to the singer’s passing, Braxton shared that her sister had “a tough year” as she underwent treatment for the aggressive cancer.
“She was optimistic. She was hopeful that she was going to get better. Actually, she had a lot more time than they initially said,” the “Don’t Break My Heart” hitmaker told viewers. “She had another six months that she was with us, so we got to savor that moment with her… we got to see her take her last breath.”
Braxton, who is currently working on the production of her new Lifetime film, “Fallen Angels Murder Club: Friends to Die For,” said she dedicated the forthcoming project to her late sister, noting how Traci would often help her to develop ideas for her character in the movie.
”I would talk to her [Traci] every day a couple of times a day. I was filming in Canada. And I would ask her about my character and talk to her about Hollis and read my lines with her…when I look at this project I think of her with a smile on my face.”
Tensions are stirring between The Braxton Family and Traci’s husband over funeral arrangements
Now, it appears as though there may be trouble stirring between the Braxton family and Traci’s husband Kevin Surratt.
Details of the On Earth crooner’s memorial service were published to her Instagram page on Wednesday, inviting friends, family, and fans to attend the late singer’s memorial viewing on March 31. The caption explained that there would be limited seating at the service and offered a zoom link for those who could not attend to tune in and pay their respects to Traci.
The late R&B star’s management team and husband reportedly authorized the move, but The Braxton Family allegedly claimed that this violated the star’s final wishes.
“Traci did not want a funeral or wake,” an insider close to the family told Page Six. “She did not want people looking all over her body. She specifically requested to be immediately cremated…There was a Zoom meeting that made it clear about what she wanted, and now her husband is trying to cash in on her name.”
Kevin Surratt says he’s not in the wrong
According to the publication, last week, Surratt held a private funeral for family members, but none of Traci’s sisters and neither one of her parents attended. The publication noted that The Braxton Sisters’ father, Michael Conrad Braxton was angry about Surratt’s decision to move forward with holding a service for Traci, reportedly without their consent.
“He was so upset that he wasn’t on the list. Someone from the church recognized him and let him in and he had to sit in the fourth row,” the confidante explained. “Michael was not allowed “to speak or say any words about his daughter.”
“I was with my wife..more than anybody in this world. I know my wife, and when she got cancer, we really started to communicate about funeral plans I was still trying to find treatments for her and I went to every single one of her doctor appointments throughout our entire marriage,” the grieving husband explained. “That’s how we were, and now they’re treating me like a [deadbeat] husband.”
Surratt said Traci “wanted a viewing and one memorial service in conjunction with her management, PR and other members to come together and celebrate her.”
Overall, the reality TV star, who had been married to Traci for over 25 years shared that he was hurt by the family’s assumptions.
“None of it is true,” he clarified, before adding:
“I was meeting her wishes. Traci made our son the executor of her estate because she knew [her family] wouldn’t come after him. They’d come after me…She wouldn’t like it [the family drama]. She fought til the end. I’m just praying that it gets right.”
Braxton mentioned that her family will hold a special tribute for Traci on April 2, which would have been her 51st birthday. Surratt told Page Six he wasn’t invited.
Wow.. this is a lot. We hope both parties can come together for the sake of Traci.