Image Credit: TLC
My Big Fat Fabulous Life returns for an all-new season on Sept. 5 and will address the tragic passing of Whitney Way Thore’s mom, Barbara “Babs” Thore. The entire Thore family will be reeling from the loss of Babs, who died in 2022.
Ahead of the new season, fans likely have a lot of questions surrounding Babs’ passing. What happened to Babs? How is the family doing today? HollywoodLife is answering all the important questions you have about Babs.
What Happened To Whitney’s Mom?
Whitney announced that her mom, Babs, had died at the age of 76 on December 7, 2022. She revealed the news via Instagram one day later on December 8.
“My mother died last night just as the credits rolled on her favorite movie. Dad, Hunter, and I held her as she took her last breaths. It was 10:32pm, the same exact time she brought me into this world almost forty years ago,” Whitney’s statement began.
Whitney continued, “My mother is our family’s greatest gift. We could never love, revere, or value another person more. If you’re reading this, you’re familiar with her magic: her southern charm, her hilarious sense of humor, her well-timed witty remarks, her beauty, and her ability to make everyone around her feel comfortable and cared for. But what you can’t possibly understand is the extent of my mother’s love — what you may have witnessed and felt through a TV screen is a minute fraction that, even if multiplied by a million, wouldn’t come close to ‘real life.’ That’s how enormous, how generous, and how all-encompassing my mother’s love was. I am the luckiest person on the planet to have been hers for almost 39 years.”
Whitney Way Thore with her mom, Babs Thore. (TLC)
In her statement, Whitney thanked the fans for “loving” her mother. “She delighted in her newfound television career more than we can describe! It gave her such a sense of purpose and excitement and something to look forward to every time the crew came around,” the reality star added, “This last year navigating life after her second stroke was, perhaps surprisingly, the best of our lives. We never had more fun or laughed as much as we did the past year. The support from all of you made her feel so loved and encouraged. We are unbelievably thankful that we’ve been able to share her with you and it is our hope that her memory will continue to be a source of comfort and happiness for the rest of your lives, just as it will be for ours.”
How Did Babs Thore Die?
In Whitney’s original statement, the reality star revealed that her mom had “cerebral amyloid angioplasty.” Whitney noted that the condition is an “untreatable progressive condition caused by proteins in the blood vessels of the brain that can cause dementia, seizures, or like in my mom’s case, brain bleeding (hemorrhagic strokes).”
The reality star said that her mom suffered her first stroke in 2017, and the doctors told the family about the condition. The family was also aware that “more strokes would eventually be inevitable.” Whitney revealed that her mom had a second stroke in December 2021. Babs suffered a final stroke on November 13, 2022.
How My Big Fat Fabulous Life Will Address Babs’ Death
Ahead of the season premiere of My Big Fat Fabulous Life, Whitney shared that the episode will feature a “heartfelt” tribute to her mom. The video she posted featured adorable clips of Babs over the years. To the ‘Bab-ulous’ wife, mother, and friend. #MyBigFatFabLife returns tonight at 9/8c featuring a heartfelt tribute to Barbara ‘Babs’ Thore,” Whitney captioned her Instagram video.
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In the official trailer for the new season, Whitney can be seen giving a eulogy at her mother’s funeral. “I don’t know how we’re going to go on without her, but I know she would want us to figure it out,” Whitney says through tears at her mother’s funeral.
Glenn Thore, Babs’ husband, sweetly calls Babs the “love of my life.” In a heartbreaking moment, Glenn touches Babs’ casket in the hearse and says, “I love you so much, sweetheart. I’ll see you in heaven.” Whitney cries as she says her final goodbye to her mother.
Whitney and her brother, Hunter, notice that their dad seems “lost” without Babs. They decide to create a “bucket list” for him to take his mind off the devastating loss. Whitney and Hunter even convince Glenn to get a tattoo! The family will also travel to meet Glenn’s long-lost daughter.
“This season was really centered on him and taking care of him and creating his bucket list,” Whitney told PEOPLE. “We see a whole new side of Glenn Thore. He’s no longer Glenn Thore, he’s rebranded as GT and he’s a whole new man.”
Glenn, Whitney, and Hunter Thore star in the new season. (TLC)
In the months since Babs’ death, Whitney has witnessed just how much of an impact her mom had on viewers. “I know how much she affects people,” Whitney told E! News. “But to hear it was so wonderful for soothing our hearts a little bit. And to know how she was able to mother people through a television screen, literally all over the world.”
She added, “The amount of people who said, ‘I didn’t have a mom, and she was like, my mom,’ or, ‘My mom’s just like her, and we love to watch her.’ It’s a gift she gave the world. You always want your loved ones to be remembered and to know that my mom is going to live on in so many people’s hearts and minds and in their inside jokes, it is such a gift. I’m so glad I was able to share my mom with the world.”