The Nerine Shatner Foundation

Oct 31. '99

From a talk given by William Shatner at the Galileo 7 III convention in Berlin on Oct. 31 '99:

y wife Nerine has died.  She was a victim of Alcoholism.  She had a very tragic accident and she died. We knew each other seven years and we were married for almost two.   I loved her very much. 

I never spoke about this accident in public before.  This is the first time I bring myself to talk about it.  What I got to say about this is that she struggled against a very terrible disease called Alcoholism.  I have no idea how bad it is or was.   I have no idea what addiction is.  I have heard, we all know, we read about people being addicted but we don't know what addiction is. Addiction is a terrible disease.  It's not something they control and it has to be treated as a disease.   And all this I didn't know until now.  So, I started a Foundation in my wife's name, Nerine Shatner, in the United States.  And with that money we will try and help other addicts.

Because as she was trying to get better she said: "When I get better I want to help other people in my situation".  And then she had the accident and wasn't able to continue. I want to continue with her name, to help other women addicts.  That's the Nerine Shatner Foundation. 

I have no idea what addicts go through.   I have read magazines that they genetically lack endorphins.  Their nerves are not as settled as ours are.  They lack it and addiction soothes them.  It gives them some peace from their torment that we get natural.  They have to get this peace by artificial means.  Until I felt the pain of her death I didn't understand the pain of what addicts are feeling and why they become addicted.  Because in their torture,  whatever they are feeling inside, that's where they seek their peace.   We who don't have the disease can seek that peace in nature, in God, in a relationship.  But they can't.  To some of them it can be taught and some of them can get around their addiction.  But a lot of them can't.  And they go through a lifetime of torture or unfortunately they die of accidents or disease of their body.  Or they go into an institution.  Maybe the funds from the Nerine Shatner Foundation will help.  I hope it will give somebody the ability to deal with his addiction. 

I learned a lot this year.  I've learned about grief.  Grief is something everyone of us is going to feel.  We have either already felt it or we're going to feel it.  And grief, like love, like hate and anger, like peace and quiet, is another emotion.  It's an emotion that comes to us.  That visits us in our lifetime.  Sometimes more than once.  In my case, my father died many years ago, and I felt this terrible pain.  I remember it took me about a year before I was thinking of him in some kind of pain.  I had moved from home and no longer had seen my father every day.  We had stayed in touch by phone.   It wasn't an everyday thing for me to see my father daily at that stage.

But a child or a spouse, in this case a wife, who is your soulmate, when they leave you, the pain is extraordinary.  It's like a part of you is ripped away.  What I had to learn is that grief is like a leg that's torn away from you.  You have to learn to deal with the physical pain, it feels painful, and you have to learn to deal with the emotional pain.  And gradually, slowly you begin to get better.  And I'm in the process now of getting better.   And I can feel myself getting better.  I look out of the world now and not feel like I don't want to be here. 

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Visit the Nerine Shatner Memorial Fund

The Nerine Shatner Memorial Fund
c/o MCTS
760 North La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90069
Attn: Victor Meschures