Maria Shriver, Kennedy Family Mourn Saoirse Kennedy Hill in Tributes

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In mourning. Maria Shriver, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and other members of the Kennedy family paid tribute to Saoirse Kennedy Hill after her tragic death at age 22.

Shriver, who counted her late relative as a cousin, called her “a brave young woman.” Kennedy Hill was a granddaughter of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, while the I’ve Been Thinking author, 63, was the late politician’s niece.

Robert Jr., 65, shared several memories of his niece, as well as deemed her “fierce, both in her love for her family and yearning for justice.” One of the photos showed his wife, actress Cheryl Hines, moving Kennedy Hill into her college dorm.

Kennedy Hill died on Thursday, August 1, from an apparent overdose. According to The New York Times, emergency personnel responded to the family’s compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, and transported her to Cape Cod Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

The Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office stated that her cause of death “remains under investigation.”

The family confirmed the news in a statement to The New York Times. “Our hearts are shattered by the loss of our beloved Saoirse,” the Kennedys said. “Her life was filled with hope, promise and love.”

RFK’s widow, Ethel Kennedy, who lives at the Hyannis Port compound, added that “the world is a little less beautiful today.”

Kennedy Hill studied at Boston College and was expected to graduate in 2020.

She previously went to school at Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts, during which time she wrote about her battle with depression in the student newspaper, The Deerfield Scroll. Kennedy Hill divulged in a 2016 article that her issues began in middle school. She noted that her mental health struggles would “be with me for the rest of my life.”

Scroll to see tributes from the far-reaching Kennedy family in the wake of the college student’s death.

Maria Shriver

“A brave young woman left our world yesterday. She left a gaping hole in the lives of those who loved her dearly,” Shriver shared via Instagram on Friday, August 2. “May god bless her. May god hold her parents during this unbearable hour and give them the strength to make it thru. Amen.”

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Cheryl Hines

Hines, 53, captioned a shot of the two, “My beautiful Saoirse.”

Courtesy Cheryl Hines/Instagram

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

The activist posted a series of photos featuring Saoirse throughout the years. “We’ve lost our daughter and our children, their sister,” he wrote. “Saoirse was fierce, both in her love for her family and yearning for justice. A fearless adventurer, she inspired curiosity and daring in her friends. But her greatest gift was to find humor in everything and to give us all the gift of her laughter – and our own. The gaping hole that she leaves in our family is a wound too large to ever heal.”

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Michaela Kennedy Cuomo

Saoirse’s cousin remembered her with shots from their childhood together. “Anyone who’s [sic] path crossed Saoirse’s would instantly feel her infectious charisma and fervor for finding joy in every moment. Her beauty, inside and out, lit up every room that she entered. No matter where you were, as long as you were with Saoirse you were going to have a joyful, hilarious adventure,” she captioned the Instagram post. “Saoirse’s fun loving soul attracted everyone to get to know her, and immediately upon deeper conversation you would recognize that not only is Saoirse the cheerleader that the universe needs, but that she is deeply passionate, authentically caring, and intelligent and insightful beyond her, or anyone’s, years. Yesterday the world lost a light that enchanted everyone and everything around her. Let us honor her life by carrying forth her loving compassion, merriment and her passionate fight for women’s empowerment. The world will be a better place for as long as we can embody Saoirse’s soul. Her legacy lives on through love.”

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Kerry Kennedy

“Our hearts are shattered by the loss of our beloved Saoirse. Her life was filled with hope, promise and love. She cared deeply about friends and family, especially her mother Courtney, her father Paul, her stepmother Stephanie, and her grandmother Ethel, who said, ‘The world is a little less beautiful today,’” her aunt wrote on Instagram. “She lit up our lives with her love, her peals of laughter and her generous spirit. Saoirse was passionately moved by the causes of human rights and women’s empowerment and found great joy in volunteer work, working alongside indigenous communities to build schools in Mexico. We will love her and miss her forever.”

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Patrick J. Kennedy

Her cousin tweeted: “Saoirse will always remain in our hearts. She is loved and will be deeply missed.”

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