Chelsea Handler remembers late brother with heartfelt tribute, celebrity friends respond


Chelsea Handler learned a lot from her oldest brother, Chet Handler, in the 22 years that he was alive.

In a heartfelt Instagram post on Tuesday, the outspoken comedian showed her softer side in a tribute to her sibling, who fell off a cliff and died in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, over three decades ago. "Thirty-three years ago this month, my brother Chet died. He was 22, and the oldest of 6 kids," she wrote to accompany a photo slideshow of Chet. "We were never six again, only five. The number was never the right number again."

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Handler said it was because of this family tragedy that she learned "how to live and love and laugh." She also noted other ways she grew as a person. "Show up, stand up, love up, argue, fight, make up, show up again," she declared in her post. "Go to bat for people. Tell them you love them. Defend your friends. Stand up for yourself. Give away the things you have in excess. Give away the things you love the most."

Handler concluded, "This is the only chance we get. Make it count. Live a little."

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LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 24: Chelsea Handler attends the premiere of 'Atomic Blonde' at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on July 24, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 02: Chelsea Handler Visits 'The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon' at Rockefeller Center on December 2, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for NBC)
PASADENA, CA - JULY 29: Chelsea Handler (L) and Tomi Lahren speak during there appearance at Politicon 2017 at Pasadena Convention Center on July 29, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Michael Schwartz/Getty Images)
TV personality Chelsea Handler attends 2016 Glamour Women Of The Year Awards in Hollywood, California, on November 14, 2016. / AFP / VALERIE MACON (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 05: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Comedian Chelsea Handler attends American Cancer Society's Giants of Science Los Angeles Gala on November 5, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/WireImage)
PASADENA, CA - JULY 29: Jake Tapper (L) and Chelsea Handler at the 'CNN: Politics on Tap: Special Edition' panel during Politicon at Pasadena Convention Center on July 29, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for Politicon)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 27: Comedian Chelsea Handler and honoree Charlize Theron attends amfAR's Inspiration Gala at Milk Studios on October 27, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Tachman/Getty Images for amfAR)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 05: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) (L-R) Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, actress Shannen Doherty, and comedian Chelsea Handler arrive at American Cancer Society's Giants of Science Los Angeles Gala on November 5, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 27: Chelsea Handler arrives at the amfAR's Inspiration Gala Los Angeles at Milk Studios on October 27, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 07: (L-R) Actress Kristen Stewart, president of the Brady Center Dan Gross, comedian Chelsea Handler, and actress January Jones attend the Brady Center's Bear Awards Gala at NeueHouse Hollywood on June 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 24: Chelsea Handler arrives at the 23rd Annual ELLE Women In Hollywood Awards at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on October 24, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: Host Chelsea Handler presents onstage at the 2016 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park To End Extreme Poverty By 2030 at Central Park on September 24, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images)
DANA POINT, CA - OCTOBER 19: Chelsea Handler speaks onstage at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit 2016 at Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel on October 19, 2016 in Dana Point, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Fortune)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 18: Comedian & host of Netflix's 'Chelsea', Chelsea Handler attends 2016 Social Good Summit at 92Y on September 18, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 26: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Comedian/TV host Chelsea Handler visits 'The Elvis Duran Z100 Morning Show' at Z100 Studio on August 26, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 25: Comedian and TV host Chelsea Handler visits AOL Build to discuss the new season of her hit Netflix show, 'Chelsea' at AOL HQ on August 25, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 409 -- Pictured: (l-r) Comedian Chelsea Handler during an interview with host Seth Meyers on August 25, 2016 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 25: Chelsea Handler seen out in Manhattan on August 25, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 02: Comedian Chelsea Handler attends the Television Academy's 70th Anniversary Gala on June 2, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/WireImage)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - MAY 19: Chelsea Handler visits 'Extra' at Universal Studios Hollywood on May 19, 2016 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MAY 14: Chelsea Handler attends the Netflix's Rebels and Rule Breakers Luncheon and Panel Celebrating the Women of Netflix at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on May 14, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - MAY 15: New York Times bestselling author Mandy Ingber and comedian Chelsea Handler attend the launch party for her new book 'Yogalosophy for Inner Strength' at Ron Robinson on May 15, 2016 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for Mandy Ingber / Seal Press)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 23: (L-R) Logan Hill, comedian Chelsea Handler, and documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock attend the Cinema Cafe during 2016 Sundance Film Festival at Filmmaker Lodge on January 23, 2016 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Sundance Film Festival)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 19: Chelsea Handler arrives to 'The Late Show With Stephen Colbert' at Ed Sullivan Theater on February 19, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0403 -- Pictured: Comedian Chelsea Handler on January 19, 2016 -- (Photo by: Theo Wargo/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 19: Chelsea Handler is seen walking in 'Midtown'on January 19, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 15: Chelsea Handler visits 'Sway in the Morning' with Sway Calloway on Eminem's Shade 45 at SiriusXM Studios on January 15, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 12: Chelsea Handler arrives at the Stella McCartney Autumn 2016 Presentation on January 12, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
Comedian Chelsea Handler attends The Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Annual Grants Banquet on August 2, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. / AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACON (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 27: Chelsea Handler and Laird Hamilton attend the Premiere of Sundance Selects' 'Take Every Wave: The Life Of Laird Hamilton' at ArcLight Hollywood on September 27, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images,)
Chelsea Handler speaks during Politicon at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, California on July 29, 2017. Politicon is a bipartisan convention that mixes politics, comedy and entertainment. (Photo by: Ronen Tivony) (Photo by Ronen Tivony/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 24: Chelsea Handler and Aisha Tyler take a selfie at the premiere Of Focus Features' 'Atomic Blonde' at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on July 24, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 01: Chelsea Handler attends an evening with Senator Gillibrand at NeueHouse Hollywood on June 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 01: (L-R) Connie Britton, Chelsea Handler, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Amanda de Cadenet attend an evening with Senator Gillibrand at NeueHouse Hollywood on June 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
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The message garnered a lot of comments from the talk show host's followers, including some of her famous friends. "This is such a beautiful tribute to him," Jessica Chastain -- whose sister Juliet committed suicide in 2003 -- remarked. "My sister taught me the same things."

Sarah Paulson also responded to the post, writing: "Chelsea Handler, important and so moving."

In addition, Katy Perry commented: "So beautiful."

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The tribute further resonated with a lot of Handler's fans who had lost loved ones. "Thank you @chelseahandler. I lost my older brother last year and we are now two not three. This was powerful," one of her Instagram followers commented.

"I had no idea. I lost my younger brother and I learned very similar things about life," another commenter wrote. "Love you, Chelsea!!"

Celebrities we've lost in 2017:
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Celebrities who died in 2017

Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner died in his home at the Playboy Mansion of natural causes on September 27. He was 91 years old.

(Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Playboy)

Singer Chester Bennington of Linkin Park committed suicide in July, he was 41 years old.

(Photo by Scott Dudelson/WireImage)

Actor Adam West attends the Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders Press Room at New York Comic-Con - Day 1 at Jacob Javits Center on October 6, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Legendary actress Mary Tyler Moore passed away at the age of 80.

(REUTERS)

John Heard, known for his role as the father in the Home Alone films, died on July 21. Some reports say he was 71-years-old, however, others have his age listed as 72.

(Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)

Roger Smith, who starred in the series "77 Sunset Strip" and was married to actress Ann-Margret, died Sunday in Sherman Oaks. He was 84.

(Getty)

Gregg Allman, best known for performing in The Allman Brothers Band, passed away at 69.

(Reuters)

Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell died unexpectedly at 52 after he was found in a Detroit hotel room.

(Reuters)

Erin Moran, who is known for her role in TV sitcom "Happy Days," died at the age of 56 after a secret battle with cancer.

(Getty)

Comedian Don Rickles died at the age of 90 from kidney failure.

(Reuters)

Comedian Charlie Murphy died at 57 from complications stemming from a battle with leukemia.

(Getty)

Roger Moore, a former James Bond star, died after a short battle with cancer at 89.

(Reuters)

Jonathan Demme, the director known for his work on thriller "Silence of the Lambs," died at 73 from esophageal cancer and complications from heart disease.

(Getty)

Roger Ailes, who was at FOX News for two decades before being ousted last year for alleged sexual harassment, died at 77 after suffering a fall at his home.

(Reuters)

Bill Paxton died unexpectedly at age 61 on February 25. 

( REUTERS/Fred Prouser)

Soul singer Cuba Gooding Sr., who is also Cuba Gooding Jr.'s father, died at 72.

(Getty)

Neil Fingleton, "Britain's tallest man" and "Games of Thrones" star died at 36 from heart failure.

 (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

"Battlestar Galactica" star Richard Hatch died at 71. 

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) 

John Hurt, star of "The Elephant Man," died at 77. 

REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett 

Butch Trucks, founding member of The Allman Brothers Band, died at 69.

(Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

Actor Miguel Ferrer died from throat cancer at 61.

(Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

Dick Gautier, known for is role in the Broadway musical 'Bye Bye Birdie' died at 85.

(Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)

Frank Deford, giant of sports journalism, died at 78.

(Photo by Marc Bryan-Brown/WireImage)

Rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry, who is known for hits like ''Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Roll Over Beethoven," died at 90 years old.

(Reuters)

Television personality Christopher 'Big Black' Boykin, known for his MTV show "Rob & Big," died at the age of 45.

(Getty)

Dina Merrill, the actress known for movies like "Butterfield 8" and "Operation Petticoat," died at 93.

(Getty)

Frank Pellegrino Sr. (R) died at age 72 following a battle with lung cancer. He was known for his role on "The Sopranos." 

(Getty)

Former pop singer Tommy Page was found dead at 46 in New York City.

(Getty)

"Doll Squad" star Francine York passed away at 80 after a battle with cancer.

(Getty)

Joni Sledge, the "We Are Family" singer, was found dead in her Phoenix home. She was 60.

(Getty)

Jazz legend Al Jarreau died at the age of 76.

(Getty)

Actor Robert Michael Morris died at age 77. His death was confirmed by friend Lisa Kudrow.

(Getty)

Comedian Jerry Lewis died on August 20. He was 91 years old.

(Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images)

Monty Hall, one of the most popular game show hosts in American television died in September at age 96.

(Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Anne Jeffreys, star of ‘General Hospital’ and Broadway’s ‘Kiss Me Kate,’ died in September at 94.

(Photo by Rodrigo Vaz/FilmMagic)

Barry Dennen, member of the original cast of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” died in September at age 79.

(Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)

Famed soul singer Charles Bradley died in September at the age of 68.

(Photo by David A. Smith/Getty Images)

Harry Dean Stanton, the actor known for his roles in "Twin Peaks," "Big Love," "Pretty in Pink" and "Repo Man" died of natural causes in Los Angeles. He was 91.

(Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images)

Frank Vincent, who had a key role on "The Sopranos" and appeared in a number of Martin Scorsese films, died at age 78.

(Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)

Nelsan Ellis, who starred in the HBO series True Blood, died on July 8 from alcohol withdrawal after years of struggling with substance abuse. He was 39 years old.

(Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)

Blake Heron, the child actor who starred in 1996's "Shiloh," died at age 35.

(Photo by Utopia Pictures/Getty Images)

Comedian Shelley Berman, who was famous as a "sit-down" comedian and later as Larry David's dad on "Curb Your Enthusiasm," died at the age of 92.

(Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

Dick Gregory, the trailblazing comic and civil rights activist whose unique brand of comedy combined cutting wit and contemporary headlines, died in August at the age of 84.

(Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)

Sam Shepard, the Pulitzer-winning playwright and Oscar-nominated actor peacefully passed away at his home in Kentucky in July after a long battle with Lou Gehrig's disease. He was 73.


(REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

Martin Landau, the all-purpose actor known for his Oscar-winning performance in Ed Wood, died in July. He was 89.

(REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)

Gary DeCarlo, the lead singer of Steam, died in June at the age of 75.

(Photo by Bobby Bank/Getty Images)

Michael Nyqvist, who starred in the Swedish film version of "The Girl With Dragon Tattoo," died after a battle with lung cancer. He was 56.

(HENRIK MONTGOMERY/AFP/Getty Images)

Prodigy, who made up one half of Mobb Deep, died in June. He was 42.

(Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

Tom Petty, the famed and beloved rocker behind hits like “American Girl” and “Free Fallin,” died in October following a cardiac arrest. He was 66.

(Photo by Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

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