Michael K. Williams laid to rest, remembered by Jurnee Smollett: 'Still can't make sense of it'

·3 min read

Michael K. Williams was laid to rest Tuesday in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Jurnee Smollett says she is working through the stages of grief following the death of her "Lovecraft Country" co-star.

Williams was found dead in his Brooklyn penthouse apartment on Sept. 7, the New York City Police Department confirmed to USA TODAY. His death is being investigated as a possible drug overdose, police told The Associated Press.

The actor was honored this week during a service at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Cathedral, which streamed the event on Facebook. He was remembered as "one of television's most respected and acclaimed actors" who brought "characters to life, often with surprising tenderness."

Williams is well known for his portrayal of Omar Little in "The Wire," which ran from 2002 to 2008. He also appeared on many more HBO series, including "Boardwalk Empire," "The Night Of" and most recently, "Lovecraft Country," in which he is nominated for an Emmy for his role as Montrose Freeman.

Obituary: Michael K. Williams, star of 'The Wire' and 'Lovecraft Country,' dead at 54

In this Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, file photo, Michael K. Williams attends a gala for "The Public" on Day 4 of the Toronto International Film Festival at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto.
In this Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, file photo, Michael K. Williams attends a gala for "The Public" on Day 4 of the Toronto International Film Festival at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto.

Smollett, who plays Letitia "Leti" Lewis, on "Lovecraft Country," penned a tribute on Instagram to Williams hours after his funeral. She wrote about the stages of grief and how at first she was in denial that Williams died.

"When @jakesmollett called to tell me, my brain went 'hell naw that’s not true, let me call Michael.' And I called him. I called him over & over until my brain said stop, he’s gone. I couldn’t breathe," she wrote.

She shared that the 54-year-old star should be there for the upcoming Emmys on Sunday.

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"He was supposed to see how big (her son) Hunter is, we were gonna dance, celebrate, cry. Instead our brother was laid to rest today. I still can’t make sense of it."

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Smollett also detailed the first scene they shot together, Uncle George’s death in Episode 2, which led to them having a "trans-physical connection."

"After finishing the scene, Courtney (B. Vance) came over, held Jonathan (Majors), Michael & I as we cried in each other’s arms like babies...No, like the sons & daughter of such familiar, profound paternal grief. We became the three musketeers afterwards. Our souls tied," she wrote.

She ended her post: "I take comfort in knowing that you’re finally free, somewhere dancing, being mighty, showing the angels how to really get it."

Many other celebrities including Taraji P. Henson, Riz Ahmed, Niecy Nash, Aaron Paul, and Tamron Hall have paid tribute to Williams in the days following his death.

"You embraced this world with a loving heart and a gentle smile," wrote Paul, Williams' co-star in the 2016 crime thriller "Triple 9." "Everyone who knew you would say that you lifted them up with such ease and grace and that they became a better person by simply knowing you."

'Farewell my friend': Wendell Pierce, more 'The Wire' co-stars mourn Michael K. Williams

Contributing: Pamela Avila, Kim Willis

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Michael K. Williams funeral honors star; Jurnee Smollett details grief