In a recent interview with Tamron Hall, Iyanla Vanzant opened up about several things including why she decided to leave her hit show, Iyanla: Fix My Life.
“I'm very sensitive to energy," she told Hall. "Because you go into people's homes [on the show], you're in their bathroom, you're in their kitchen and then they think they know you and they think they have a right to say certain things because we're not clear and conscious of the energy we send out. So through the emails, through the social media, people would come into my home. I was getting death threats, because they didn't like something I said about it. And I'm like, I want to be free of this. I don't want this. I got death threats around certain shows, around certain issues, around things that I said."
She continued, "People would come to my home, you know, because with the internet, they can find you anywhere. They would call me, ‘I know you don't know me, but I need help.’ Wait a minute, hold up! I have so many vehicles and avenues where I serve people. I'm on social media, I have classes, I teach. You don't get to call me on my private phone at two o'clock in the morning. So I just wanted to be free of that. That was more important to me.”
She also talked about the death of her daughter in 2003
Vanzant’s beloved daughter, Gemmia, lost her life to colon cancer when she was just 31-years-old. Since then, Vanzant has raised her grandchildren and continues working to help others. She admits she was initially struck by grief over Gemmia’s passing but remembers a key moment that changed everything for her.
“I’m flying all over the world helping people and supporting people. Then as ‘Mommy,’ my pup was sick and there was nothing I could do,” Vanzant told Hall. “You know, cancer is a formidable challenger. So I’m like ‘how can I help people save their lives and fix their relationships while my child is sick and there’s absolutely nothing I can do but stand here.’ Of course, it was the ego just making me crazy, but I was walking around feeling like ‘if I can’t help my own, how can I help other people?’ It was really a challenging time. It was really a challenging experience.”
Vanzant nearly gave into the darkness but recalls feeling at peace moments after Gemmia’s transition. “She passed on Christmas Day, and I’ll never forget, she was at her home, 31 years old, in her home that she owned because that’s how she lived, she just lived like that,” she said.
She continued: “And I remember when they brought her body downstairs I said to the undertaker, ‘I’m gonna close the body bag because she doesn’t like the dark’. And it came to me. I said, ‘Wow, God must really think I am a strong person to give me the privilege of bringing her into life and the privilege of supporting her as she moves to the other life.’ So I closed that bodybag and I told her ‘it’s gonna be okay’ because I knew she didn’t like the dark. And so just doing that, I was like, ‘okay, there’s something else going on here. Let me tap into that and not get caught up in you know, the minute things in life.”