Tamera Mowry-Housley returned to The Real on Monday, just over two weeks after the heartbreaking death of her niece.
College freshman Alaina Housley, the niece of Tamera and husband Adam Housley, was one of 12 people killed at the Borderline Bar & Grill shooting in Thousand Oaks, Calif. earlier this month. "Our hearts are broken. We just learned that our niece Alaina was one of the victims of last night's shooting at Borderline bar in Thousand Oaks," the couple said in a statement issued to E! News on Nov. 8. "Alaina was an incredible young woman with so much life ahead of her and we are devastated that her life was cut short in this manner. We thank everyone for your prayers and ask for privacy at this time."
On Nov. 15, Tamera confirmed on her Instagram that Alaina had been laid to rest, one week after the shooting.
At the start of Monday's episode of The Real, Tamera received a warm welcome back from the audience, as well as her co-hosts Loni Love, Adrienne Bailon and Jeannie Mai.
When asked how she's doing, Tamera teared up as replied, "I'm OK."
"I'm sorry," Tamera said as she tried to continue. "Our family's been through a lot, but the interesting thing about grief is that you've gotta find the balance of moving forward and grieving at the same time. It's just been a little over two weeks...she would want me to be here. And she would want me...sweet Alaina...to move forward. I don't like to say move on, because I don't think I'll ever move on with the fact that she's not here with me or with our family."
"But she would want me to move forward and to use her voice as a catalyst for change, and that's why I am here today," Tamera continued. "And I just appreciate the outpouring love and support from everybody. That sweet 18-year-old girl impacted people in such a positive way, and that's how we've been able to move on, the love as my beautiful sister-in-law Hannah said at my niece's memorial, that's what we need more today love."
"Obviously, this was such a horrible and unnecessary tragedy, so what do you think that we as a country can do to make sure that something like this never happens again?" Adrienne asked Tamera.
"Oh. Where do I begin?" Tamera replied. "It's obvious that we need change when it comes to gun violence. I don't care if I have to knock on the doors of the White House to do it. Alaina was very sweet and loving and kind. She was also a debater. So she would want me to debate that. But also, I believe that it starts from within. Our country, and it's sad to say this, but you have to be living underneath a rock to not believe these words, our country is sick. It's diseased. If it needs healing. It needs healing from within. We are so divided."
A foundation has been set up in Alaina's honor, Alaina's Voice. You can learn more about the foundation by visiting alainasvoice.org.