Bill Rancic Defends His Wife Giuliana After Fashion Police Controversy: 'I Tried to Get Them to Release the Footage' 41 years, 2,191 covers and 55,436 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- Brad Pitt Talks Going Up Against George Clooney for Movie Rights: 'It Can Get Competitive'
- Read the Cover Story: Adele’s Triumphant Return: How Love Changed Her Life
- Find Out Which Glee Alums Are Waiting for That American Horror Story Casting Call
- Welcome to the Future: Amazon Previews Drone Delivery Service (VIDEO)
- How You Doin? Wendy Williams, 51, Shows Off 50-Lb. Weight Loss in Sexy, Cleavage-Baring Swimsuit
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: In His Own Words
- Jessa Duggar's Wedding Album
- Brittany Maynard's Final Days
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
Living Without Alex
Two Years After the Death of His Son, Songwriter Jeffrey Steele Opens Up About His Family's Struggle
Just hours later the couple stood over Alex's body at Nashville's Vanderbilt Hospital, clipping a lock of his curls as they said goodbye. Alex, who had been wearing a helmet, had lost control and was thrown off his vehicle, fatally tearing his aorta in the fall. "The irony is that he had the biggest heart," says Steele.
Since his son's death, Steele—a singer and songwriter who's penned hits for Rascal Flatts like "What Hurts the Most," "My Wish" and "Here"—and his family have struggled to heal their own broken hearts while keeping alive the memory of their son.
At first "there was anger, the what-ifs. Why would God do this?" Steele says. "Then you try to get to a place where it's grace and forgiveness and love. It's a long process." One that he admits is far from over. At home in Franklin, Tenn., a collage of Alex's second-grade photos still hangs on the front door and his room remains preserved. "You're not trying to make a shrine, but it freezes in time," Steele says. "I'll have a day where I'm great, but then I'm shot with an arrow with some insignificant memory—the smirk on his face, the way he hugged me—that makes you cry. It's like I'm walking with an anchor dragging behind me for the rest of my life."
That burden has also lent a new gravity to his work. "People used to come up to me and say, 'That song, "What Hurts the Most," it heals me.' I never got that," says Steele, 47. "As a songwriter, I was like this professional observer. But suddenly my songs were my life. It put a whole new spin on it."
Alex's loss has given his parents new direction as well. They've started the Alex LeVasseur Fund (rememberalex.com), to provide scholarships to needy kids for tutoring and memberships to Rocketown, a Nashville skate park (and one of Alex's favorite hangouts). On June 28 the family will hold the third annual Alex Fest, a benefit bash for the fund, which last year brought out pal Miley Cyrus.
"We figured, let's put this into something Alex loved and see if we can help other kids," Steele says. "We're trying to make the most of the absolute worst. Ultimately we hope Alex would say, 'That's pretty cool.' "
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!