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Reps for actress Denise Richards confirm to OK! that the actress lost her mother, Joni, this week to cancer. The 36-year-old star and her two daughters with ex-husband Charlie Sheen, 3-year-old Sam and Lola, 2, was joined by her father, Irv, and other family members during their two-week bedside vigil at the Long Beach, Calif., hospital where Joni lived out her final days.

Her mother’s illness has given Denise reason to think about her own life in recent months. "I was always a people pleaser," she explained. "And I just finally got to the point in my life after having my daughters and going through a really ugly divorce, and… my mother [being] sick with cancer, that I’ve just gotten to the point where life is so short and I just want to be happy."

In this time of grief, one might expect Denise to shelter her daughters from the tragedy of Joni’s death, but as the actress recently told OK!, it’s important for Sam and Lola to see her sad. "Sam walked in and saw me crying about my mom," the actress explained to OK! at the time. "She wiped my tear and gave me a kiss. Then I thought, ‘You know what? This is life. Mommy sometimes gets sad.’ "

OK! extends their sincerest condolences to the Richards family for their loss.

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