Katherine Heigl tried to find light in a dark place by posing for photos with her relatives’ headstones at a cemetery in Buffalo, New York, but some of her fans were quick to call the posts insensitive.
“I noticed on my Instagram page that the post I posted earlier was getting a lot of reaction, and I realized you guys are right,” the Grey’s Anatomy alum, 39, said in a series of videos later on Sunday, June 24. “It was not appropriate and it was disrespectful and I’ve taken it down.”
Heigl explained that she was “trying to make a hard moment lighthearted” and didn’t mean to offend anyone.
“It’s kind of a heavy thing to go and visit my loved ones’ graves, and I decided to find some moments of levity and humor and didn’t realize how inappropriate I was being,” she continued. “I deeply apologize and I thank you guys for understanding that sometimes I don’t think things through clearly enough and I am grateful for your input and for giving me a heads up when I’m maybe going too far. And thank you for forgiving me. Next time I will be more thoughtful about other people’s feelings and not just my own.”
In the since-deleted pictures, the 27 Dresses actress posed alongside a memorial for her late older brother, Jason, who died at the age of 16 in 1986 from injuries he suffered in a car accident while out to lunch with some of his high school classmates. She also paid respect to her grandparents Reinhold and Margaretta Engelhardt.
Heigl and her husband, Josh Kelley, later snapped photos next to various monuments at the graveyard. She posed for a goofy selfie with an angel, and captioned another post, “I also managed to get in a little gossip with the girls.” Meanwhile, the singer-songwriter, 38, sat down next to a large stone with his last name on it. His wife of 10 years captioned the post, “[He] found his own grave…which was weird.”
The couple share daughters Nancy, 9, and Adalaide, 6, and son Joshua Jr., 18 months.