The 45-year-old former model, who shares two young daughters with the Die Hard star, 68, appeared on the Today show to raise awareness for World Frontotemporal Dementia Awareness Week.
During a conversation with host Hoda Kotb, she admitted that his illness has been “hard” on their whole household.
She became tearful when asked whether Bruce knows what is going on, and whether his diagnosis was something he’s “aware of”, responding: “It’s hard to know.”
She added: “Dementia is hard. It’s hard on the person diagnosed, it’s also hard on the family. That is no different for Bruce, or myself, or our girls.”
“When they say this is a family disease, it really is.
Exclusive: In honor of World Frontotemporal Dementia Awareness week, Bruce Willis’ wife Emma Heming Willis speaks to @hodakotb about the condition in her first interview since his diagnosis.
“It was the blessing and the curse,” Emma said of receiving Bruce’s diagnosis. pic.twitter.com/VY5yhVjZIf
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) September 25, 2023
“I think it was the blessing and the curse, to finally understand what was happening, so I can be into the acceptances of what it is.
“It doesn’t make it any less painful but just being in the acceptance, and being in the know of what is happening to Bruce, makes it a little bit easier.”
Heming Willis has kept fans regularly updated on her husband’s health online as his family, which also includes three grown up daughters who he shares with ex-wife Demi Moore, rally around him.
Discussing how she navigated Bruce’s frontotemporal dementia symptoms with their loved ones, Heming Willis, who describes herself as a “care partner”, said: “We’re a very honest and open household.
“The most important thing was to be able to say what the disease was, explain what it is, because when you know when the disease is from a medical standpoint, it all makes sense.
“I don’t want there to be any stigma or shame attached to their dad’s diagnosis, or for any form of dementia.
“There are so many beautiful things happening in our lives. It’s really important for me to look up from the grief, and the sadness, so I can see what is happening around us. Bruce would really want us to be in the joy of what is. He would really want that for me, and our family.
“He’s the gift that keeps on giving. Love, patience, resilience… For me to be out here, doing this, this is not my comfort zone. But this is the power of Bruce.”
The family first went public with his ailing health last year, revealing his latest diagnosis in February.