Michelle Williams gets honest about raising her daughter without Heath Ledger

This fall, Michelle Williams toplines the emotionally stirring Manchester by the SeaKenneth Lonergan’s deft drama about sifting through grief to find the redemptive side of life.

It's a process that Williams herself is still learning, as she reveals in the Winter Escape 2016 issue of Porter magazine, on newsstands Friday. In the pages of the Net-a-Porter quarterly, the actress opens up about raising her 11-year-old daughter, Matilda Rose, whom she shared with actor Heath Ledger, who died in January 2008 from an accidental prescription drug overdose.

"In all honesty, for pretty much everything else, I feel like I’m a believer in not fighting circumstances, accepting where you are and where you’ve been," Williams said. "In pretty much all senses but one. I would be able to go totally down that line of thinking were it not for Matilda not having her dad. You know that’s just something that doesn’t … I mean, it just won’t ever be right."

Dating still doesn't feel right for the actress either and, as she tells Porter, she doesn't feel pressure to marry soon.

"I just want to stay home and take care of people," she said, "but I’m also happy with myself and just because I might have a desire to be with someone …  that won’t lead me to marry the wrong person."

For now, Williams has found sanctuary with other women who are also raising children on their own. "I know a handful of women in similar positions (to me), it’s kind of like a club," she said. "It’s a (expletive) club and we don’t want any new members … and all of the current members are exhausted. But man, oh man, it’s lifesaving to have (them)."

And then there are the small, bright spots — those moments of clarity where Williams realizes she and her daughter are making a way for themselves and are not "just surviving, but thriving."

"I watched (Matilda) warm in the sun, in her swimsuit, get on her bicycle and smile and wave as she rode off to go meet her friends," she recalls. "I went back into the house and sobbed because of this incredibly simple moment – common everyday happiness. I really felt like in that moment, like wow, we’ve done it. Not only are we OK, she’s happy."


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