James Tupper says he and son Atlas are ‘taking care of each other’ after Anne Heche’s death (exclusive)

“We still miss her, we miss her everyday, I love her,” Tupper said of her ex, who was involved in a devastating car accident on August 5.

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James Tupper and his son Atlas are “taking care of each other” after the death of Anne Hech.

On Friday, Tupper, 57, spoke to PEOPLE at the 30th annual Race to Erase MS Gala about how he and his 14-year-old daughter were looking after each other after Heche crashed his car on the 5th August and later succumbed to injuries.

“We’re taking care of each other and taking it one day at a time,” Tupper told PEOPLE at the event, which was held at the Fairmont Century Plaza in Century City, Calif. “We have a lot of support and family around us, and that’s not helping.

He added of his ex and Atlas’ mother, “We always miss her, we miss her everyday, I love her.”

Related: Ex-James Tupper Anne Heche Admits ‘Rough Times’; Since his death as friends gathered to honor his life

Araya Doheny/Getty

Araya Doheny/Getty

The actor previously spoke to PEOPLE about how he and his son were coping with their loss while reading Heche’s new memoir, Call me Anne, in January.

“I mean I’m doing great, but it’s been a very, very difficult time. A really big transition and spending time with my boy and looking after him, that’s basically my whole focus,” said Tupper to PEOPLE. event.

“It’s very difficult every time you lose a parent like that. Your whole world shifts, and I think children experience trauma in a way that adults don’t. Adults have a context to put it in. place, but not the children. You want to bury it, you want to forget it and move on,” he added. “I also happen to have lost my mother when I was very, very young. So I kind of understand what he’s going through.”

Related: James Tupper has ‘little to no claim’ in legal proceedings with Anne Heche’s son: court expert

Tupper told PEOPLE that ‘grieving is a difficult thing’ and it ‘comes in waves’, adding that he sometimes had to stop his car while driving because he was ‘so upset’ after Heche’s death. .

“That shock that she’s gone now – someone you really loved and knew really really, really well… [It’s] impossible to recover quickly,” he said.

As for how he and Atlas, 13, are coping with defeat, he told PEOPLE: “Atlas got into tennis, so he plays about two to three hours a day, and I think that creates a very good balance.” He added that Atlas “has some really good friends. So keeping those things carefully balanced is how we get through grief.”

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After the devastating car crash, the 53-year-old Emmy Award-winning actress lay in a coma for nearly a week before being declared legally dead in the state of California on August 11. His heart continued to beat until August 14. to ensure that his organs could be donated in accordance with his wishes.

“Today we lost a shining light, a kind and very joyful soul, a loving mother and a loyal friend,” a rep for the star told PEOPLE in a statement at the time. “Anne will be deeply missed, but she lives on through her beautiful sons, her iconic work and her passionate advocacy. Her bravery to always stay in her truth, spread her message of love and acceptance, will continue to have a lasting impact. .”

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