The past six months for Sean "Diddy" Combs and his children have been tough, to say the least. Not only has he had to grief the loss of someone he called his soulmate, but he's also had to become a full-time single father following the sudden death of his children's mother, Kim Porter.
For the May issue of Essence, the 49-year-old music mogul opened up about his family's new normal, and how Kim unknowingly prepared him to take care of their children even in her final words to him.
"Three days before she passed, she wasn’t feeling well," Diddy explained. "She had the flu, and she sent the kids over to my house so they wouldn’t get sick."
"One night I was checking on her, and she was like, 'Puffy, take care of my babies.' She actually said that to me before she died," he shared.
It was Kim's final words that got him through the morning of November 15 when Kim was found dead at her Los Angeles area home due to lobar pneumonia, which is the inflammation of an entire lobe of the lungs.
"There was screaming and crying" Diddy recalled of when he heard the news, but Kim's last words brought him almost immediate peace. "I was crying out to God — and to her — and almost immediately Kim’s voice kicked in, and I could hear her saying, 'Make sure you take care of my babies,' he told Essence. Adding, "I jumped into mommy mode. I sent people in every direction to try to make sure the kids would not hear about it on social media or the news."
The former couple — whose love story spanned 13 years, with the two finally calling it quits on the romantic relationship in 2007 — shared three children together — son Christian, 21, and twin daughters Jessie James, 12, and D’Lila, 12. Diddy also helped raise Kim's son Quincy, 27, from a previous relationship. The 49-year-old exec is also father to son Justin, 25, and daughter Chance, 13, from previous relationships.
"I had to get to the girls' school and find Quincy, who was on set in Atlanta. Christian was on a plane, and I had his phone disconnected so he wouldn’t read it in the air," Diddy continued.
"Every time Kim and I talked, it was about the kids. We’d check in as friends, of course, but we never had a conversation that didn't include the kids. It was on some superhero sh*t," he said of his friendly relationship with Kim. "I ain’t even gonna lie. On some level, I knew she was training me for this. I knew that I had to be ready to do whatever I was supposed to do if something like this ever happened."
"Before this, I was a part-time father, you know? My family was always first, but there are countless times when I chose work over everything else," he explained. "But every day I can hear her telling me to go and spend some time with the kids and make sure everybody’s all right, like she would do. I’m just a lot more present, and, most important, now my kids come before anything else in my life."
It's this readjustment of priorities and his family's overall faith and support that explains why even in their grief they're doing "really well."
"We have a great family. the way we’re handling it together," Diddy shared, "From Sarah [Chapman, Chance’s mom] to Misa [Hylton-Brim, Justin’s mother] to all of Kim’s friends, the grandparents — it takes a village."
"We’re doing really because her passing has changed us and made us love each other more. I’m happy to say that, because at first I really didn’t know how we’d be doing," he admitted. "Because of Kim we’re doing this well, because of the way she loved us."
Photo: Getty Images