In the past few years, Alaskan Bush People star Ami Brown has learned the value of having your family close by during serious health struggles. Having her kids’ support was invaluable as she was fighting cancer, and the whole family rallied around Matt Brown as he headed to rehab. But when her mom was the one who was sick, she didn’t reach out. In fact, the Discovery Channel star has been estranged from her siblings and parents for years — and now it turns out that Ami’s mom has passed away before the two ever had a chance to reconnect.

According to Radar Online, the reality star’s mom, Earlene Branson, died in Texas on Nov. 9, 2018 at the age of 85. Though they weren’t currently speaking, the news has apparently devastated Ami. They may have been estranged, but it wasn’t for personal reasons as much as it was because of Billy Brown, the mother-of-seven’s husband. “Ami is rather upset about this because she never got the opportunity to reconcile with her mom, who tried for years and years to see her daughter,” an insider close to the family told Radar.

The distance between the family wasn’t because no one attempted to reach out, the source shares. Earlene and Ami’s brother Les Branson tried to visit the Browns in 2016, but the Alaskan Bush People left the state at the time. In 2007, Ami apparently sent her mom a birthday card and promised to visit soon. “She said, ‘We’re going to come see you on Billy’s book-signing tour, we’ll come down and see you,'” Les told Radar in 2017.

It was Billy, though, that stopped their reunion from happening, claimed Les. “I found out later that they drove right by, and Billy wouldn’t let her stop and see any of us… We were absolutely heartbroken. We’re still waiting to see Ami. And we know it’s all because of Billy!” According to Ami’s brother, it’s now been almost 40 years since his family has seen his sister — around the same time the reality star got married at the age of 15 to her then-26-year-old husband.

Ami may still have a shot at mending her relationship with Les, but when it comes to her mom, the ABP star is simply out of time. “There is nothing that she can do,” the source told Radar. “It’s too late. She’s gone.”

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