Julia Roberts is speaking out on the apparently drug overdose of her half-sister, Nancy Motes, with whom the actress had a tumultuous relationship.
"It's just heartbreak," a tearful Roberts, 46, told the Wall Street Journal in an interview conducted March 1, just one day before this year's Academy Awards.
"It's only been 20 days. There aren't words to explain what any of us have been through in these last 20 days," she said in the interview, released today.
"It's hour by hour some days, but you just keep looking ahead."
Nancy Motes died inside her Los Angeles apartment of an apparent drug overdose on February 9, the star's family announced the following day.
In the interview, Roberts did not address rumors that Motes left a suicide note criticizing Julia, and instead focused on the grief surrounding her death.
"You don't want anything bad to happen to anyone, but there are so many tragic, painful, inexplicable things in the world," said the Academy Award winner.
"But [as with] any situation of challenge and despair, we must find a way, as a family. It's hard to formulate a sentence about it outside the weepy huddle of my family."
Professionally, Roberts will appear in the May 25 HBO adaptation of the Larry Kramer drama about the early days of the AIDS epidemic, The Normal Heart.
She plays a medical pioneer with polio helping patients fight the disease.
In her personal life, she says she's introducing mindfulness to her and husband Danny Moder's children, twins Hazel and Phinnaeus, 9, and Henry, 5.
"Meditation or chanting or any of those things can be so joyous and also very quieting," she explained. "We share and just say, 'This is a way I comfort myself.'"