In an emotional and candid social media post on Sunday, the actor, 47, thanked his fans and followers for all the love and support they’d given him.
“Hey everybody I just wanted to stop in on this very blessed Sunday to say thank you so much. Thank you. My heart is so full of gratitude. You’ve lifted my spirits in ways that I hope you can imagine,” he shared at the beginning of a nearly eight-minute-long Instagram video.
“As you know, I lost my old man a few days ago. I lost him just like that, didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to him,” he said. “I’d give anything right now to give him a big ole hug and a big ole kiss before he crossed over and just say thank you and I love you and I respect you. But I didn’t get a chance to say that, but such is life, as many of you know.”
Reflecting on their “unique” relationship, Johnson shared that “there’s so much about my old man and his complexities that only me, as his son, can understand.”
Johnson went on to reveal that his father died from a heart attack on Tuesday.
“A lot of you guys wanted to know what happened to my dad. He had not been feeling well, had been battling a cold and infection and on Tuesday he had what’s called a deep vein thrombosis, which is essentially a clot in the leg. It was a big ole blood clot that broke free, traveled up his body, and went right to his lung, clotted his lung and he died very quickly from a massive heart attack, just like that,” Johnson said, adding that his father “went quick.”
“That did give me great comfort in knowing that it wasn’t prolonged,” the actor explained, noting that his father, who started his wrestling career back in 1964, “had been in a lot of pain for a very, very long time.”
After encouraging all of his fans and loved ones to make the most out of the time they have with their loved ones, Johnson shared that he would “honor” his father by crushing “my leg workout.”
“It’s appropriate I’m doing legs because he hated doing legs,” Johnson quipped, noting that afterwards he was going to start writing the eulogy he’ll give his father on Tuesday, when he’s laid to rest.
“I’ve written a lot of speeches for myself over the years but I have no idea where to start with this one. But I do have my tequila and I can hear him now, ‘Good that’s the way you gotta do it,’ and I can also hear him now ‘Make sure you put me over in the speech – say good stuff about me,’” Johnson said with a laugh. “For those of you who knows my dad you know that he would say, ‘You tell them I taught you everything you know, but I didn’t teach you everything I know.’ ”
Continuing to laugh, Johnson added: “That’s right dad. That’s why you will always be better than me. And i love it and i love you and i love you guys.”
“I’m so deeply grateful for all your love, mana & support 🙏🏾🖤,” he captioned the post. “My family and I thank you. Go hug your loved ones hard. I love you. DJ.”
Johnson spoke out about his dad’s death on Friday in a moving Instagram tribute.
“Dad, I wish I had one more shot to tell you, I love you, before you crossed over to the other side,” Johnson said. “But you were ripped away from me so fast without warning. Gone in an instant and no coming back. Im in pain. But we know it’s just pain and it’ll pass.”
World Wrestling Entertainment confirmed news of Rocky’s death on their website on Wednesday, writing: “WWE is saddened to learn that Rocky ‘Soul Man’ Johnson (born Wayde Douglas Bowles), a WWE Hall of Famer, former World Tag Team Champion, and father of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, has passed away at age 75.”
Rocky was born in Nova Scotia, Canada, as Wayde Douglas Bowles and began wrestling at the age of 16.
He retired in 1991 but went on to train his son to become a wrestler. In June 2018, his son Dwayne paid tribute to him on Instagram to thank him for teaching him how to be a father to his own three daughters.