Fans of Sister Wives have watched the Browns experience a lot of ups and downs since the show first began airing in 2010, including the polygamist family grieving the loss of loved ones.
Kody Brown and his wives, Meri Brown, Janelle Brown and Robyn Brown, as well as his former wife, Christine Brown, who made the shocking announcement she was leaving Kody and the family in November 2021, have mourned two family members who previously appeared on the show. During those difficult times, the once tight-knit family relied on each other and their Mormon religion for comfort.
On March 26, 2021, Kody’s first wife, Meri, lost her mother, Bonnie Ahlstrom. She was 76. The reality TV couple was joined by Christine and Janelle for a “very solemn” service that same month.
Bonnie had previously appeared in a few episodes of Sister Wives and fans quickly realized the strong bond she had with her daughter, especially with helping her realize her dream of owning her grandparent’s house, Lizzie’s Heritage Inn in Parowan, Utah.
Meri grieved the loss of her mother on Instagram, detailing how blessed she felt to be raised by a strong and resilient woman who always thought of others.
“This woman whose life mission was to give, to love, to serve,” the TLC personality wrote in her caption on Instagram. “This woman who would drop everything for you … This woman who was a safe place to land, no matter where, no matter when. This woman, this beautiful woman, my mom. She left us suddenly, unexpected, and extremely way too soon, and I literally don’t know how I’m going to do the rest of my life without her,” Meri continued.
“You are missed, and I know you are so happy celebrating on the other side with dad, hugging your daughter and son who left us too soon, reuniting with your parents, and getting to know your dad,” the reality star added. “Love them all, hug them all, and be happy. Or rather, just continue filling that space around you with the light that you always do.”
“I will miss [Bonnie] so much!” Janelle commented on Meri’s post. Her own mother, Sheryl Lee Brown, died in December 2020. “She has been such a big part of my life all these years.”
“Missing Grandma Bonnie now. So sad,” Kody tweeted during the airing of an episode of season 15. “I love seeing her here on the show. Rest in Peace, Grandma! I will miss your kind way, smile and wisdom. Your passing breaks my heart.”
But this wasn’t the first time the cast mourned the loss of a family member while the show was on the air. In June 2013, Kody lost his brother, Curtis Brown, due to a tragic motorcycle accident. He was 34. Curtis had previously appeared on the show in the season 3 episode, “Brown Boys Do Vegas.”
During the episode, Kody and Curtis are joined by their two other brothers, Scott Brown and Michael Brown. The four men are shown bonding over drinks, spending time at a shooting range and riding motorcycles.
“Curtis Brown, brother of [Kody] & husband of [Erica Brown] passed away [June 17],” Kody shared on Twitter at the time. “Amazing man who’ll be missed!”
“You only have to miss him this lifetime, you’ll have him forever,” Meri tweeted. “The love you share is an inspiration to me! Love you Erica.”
As for Janelle, she remembered her late mother on the one-year anniversary of her death, what would have been Sheryl’s 77th birthday.
“December 7,” she wrote via Instagram in 2021, describing it as a “mixed emotions day” alongside photos of her mother and daughter Savanah.
“So happy to celebrate Savanah’s 17th birthday and bittersweet to remember my mom on this day. It was her birthday also!” the mom of six wrote, adding, “Today also marks the one-year anniversary of [her] death.”
“Savanah has a watch of my mom’s and she proudly wore it today,” Janelle gushed. “I recognized it immediately this morning and felt mom close by.”
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