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Lucy Walsh Reveals How Mending Relationship with Eagles Rocker Dad Joe Walsh Helped Inspire Her New Book (Exclusive)

The singer-songwriter and actress' book 'Remember Me as Human,' a love letter to her late grandparents, is out now

<p>Bader Howar</p> Lucy Walsh

Bader Howar

Lucy Walsh

Lucy Walsh still remembers the moment she first saw her dad, Eagles rocker Joe Walsh, in a new light.

Freshly sober, the musician had chopped off his scraggly brown hair and dyed it platinum blond, and when a 12-year-old Walsh saw him in the aisle of a store from 50 feet away, she was struck by the difference.

“I just remember observing him and going, ‘Wow, that’s my new dad. And this is a good thing.’ But he was a stranger,” she tells PEOPLE. “It wasn’t the dad I knew, but I could sense that it was better. I could sense that it was a good thing.”

Realizing her dad was merely human was a formative lesson for Walsh, and one that informs her new book, Remember Me as Human, which hits shelves on Tuesday.

“I really think that the book has changed my life and saved my life in a lot of ways, and helped me accept the humanity in all of us,” she says. “We get so angry at our parents sometimes for things we’ve done wrong to each other, and it’s just like, everybody’s at their own capacity and having mercy for that is really important.”

<p>Bader Howar</p> Lucy Walsh

Bader Howar

Lucy Walsh

Related: Joe Walsh Talks Sobriety, Touring and Giving Back Ahead of VetsAid Concert: 'I'm So Blessed' (Exclusive)

At its heart, Remember Me as Human is a love letter to her maternal grandparents Wanda and Dale Boyer. The book draws on dozens of handwritten letters Dale wrote Wanda while deployed during World War II, as well as a series of interviews Walsh, 41, conducted with Wanda in 2011 over a three-day period, four months before her death.

Walsh, a singer-songwriter and actress who’s appeared on shows like Criminal Minds and Curb Your Enthusiasm, says her intention with the book is to help readers realize it’s important to ask loved ones questions while you still can.

“I’d like to inspire more curiosity with people so that we do pass our stories on while we have each other here,” she says. “Because once we die, our stories and our memories and the world that exists inside of us goes with us. We’ve got to cultivate and pass it down.”

Remember Me as Human dives deep on Walsh’s family life, and covers difficult topics, including the rape of her late Aunt Kathy, who had special needs, as well as the suicide of Wanda’s father and Dale's Alzheimer's diagnosis. Due to the personal subject matter, Walsh says it was “very hard to tell the truth,” but she felt it necessary in order to better convey her point: everyone is human.

Related: The Eagles Announce Addition of 'The California Concerts' to The Long Goodbye Tour

“This story is not just mine — this story is for all of us, and these complicated issues exist in every family, for every one of us, no matter who we are,” she says. “And that’s why I felt it was important not to sugarcoat things and to really be brave in exposing things that had happened. I really have to give my family a lot of credit because this has not been easy for them.”

Family is the crux of her story, and Walsh’s book covers her complicated relationship with dad Joe. Walsh was born to the “Life’s Been Good” singer and his third wife, Jody, though they divorced when she was young.

Their 1988 split took an emotional toll on Walsh, who says that her dad’s absence amid touring obligations and substance abuse issues wasn’t something that was ever explained to her, and she struggled to understand it on her own.

<p>R. Diamond/Getty</p> Joe Walsh performs in Columbus in November 2022

R. Diamond/Getty

Joe Walsh performs in Columbus in November 2022

“I equated him leaving all the time to him not loving me, for me not being worthy enough to stay. And it wasn’t that at all,” she says. “My dad is a very famous musician. He’s required to be gone most of the time.” (For his part, Joe told PEOPLE last year: “I have some children, but I wasn’t around for them. I was too busy being a rockstar. But I rebonded with them [in sobriety].")

For Walsh, that manifested itself in a mission: she’d become famous too.

“I decided [as a child] that if I can become famous also, then my dad will love me and he won’t have to leave me all the time because I’ll be where he is,” she says. “It set me on this path of really chasing fame for a long time in search of my dad, and I’m able to let that go now and really just live authentically knowing that I’m enough as I am, and that I don’t have to be famous to be worthy of love.”

When Joe got sober, a 12-year-old Walsh was taken straight to her dad’s bedside, where they were able to mend their relationship. Up until that point, Walsh says, their bond had lacked authenticity, as she only saw him rarely, and each time she did, felt immense pressure to be a “good girl” in the hopes of getting him to stay. She now calls that behavior “phony,” but concedes it was a reaction to feeling abandoned.

Now, she and Joe — sober since the ‘90s — have a great relationship.

<p>Justin Piccari</p> Lucy Walsh

Justin Piccari

Lucy Walsh

“We bond over two things, and two things only: music and jokes,” she says. “Jokes are really important between us. We don’t get a lot of time together, physically; my dad’s on the road and I’m so proud of him. But we send each other a lot of jokes. Even when we don’t know what to say to each other, which is often, we send those jokes and we know we’re on the same page. My dad is the funniest person I’ve ever met.”

Of course, there’s one thing they don’t see eye to eye on.

“The rule in my house with my dad was that I was not allowed to fall in love with a musician. So of course I did. Every chance I could get!” she says.

Married to musician Will Sweeny since 2021, Walsh — who also runs the Lucy Walsh Performing Arts Studio — says her relationship has helped mend her heart.

“I have such a crush on my husband,” she says. “He has healed my life so incredibly because I’ve had a very painful road of a love life. My father being who he was, chasing fame and all that really led me down some paths of being around people that didn’t deserve my energy. Will coming along and entering my life as such a committed partner and worshiping the ground I walk on in a very reciprocal way just really healed me. I’m so grateful for my marriage.”

And for now, Walsh is also grateful to be able to share her experiences with readers in her book.

“I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. And it all comes back to Remember Me as Human, to this book, because all we can do is compare notes on being human,” she says. “None of us know what we’re doing. And that’s such a relief, isn’t it?”

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Read the original article on People.