Following the couple’s announcement Sunday that WWE pro wrestlers Nikki Bella and John Cena were ending their engagement, Cena has expressed his feelings on social media.
“Anybody feeling down, check out #WaltWhitman has always been a helpful voice in times of crisis,” Cena, who turns 41 on April 23, tweeted hours after Bella had posted their joint statement. “Beautifully wild thinker, and was certainly onto something with ideas like these,” he wrote, posting the quote “Keep your face always toward the sunshine — and shadows will fall behind you.” Variations of this aphorism have been attributed both to poet and essayist Whitman and to deaf-blind disability activist and author Helen Keller, though it appears in none of their published works.
Cena on Instagram posted another quote attributed to Whitman — “We were together. I forget the rest” — that is generally considered a bowdlerization of a passage from Whitman’s poem “Once I Pass’d Through a Populous City” in the classic collection “Leaves of Grass”: “Day by day and night by night we were together, — All else has long been forgotten by me; I remember, I say, only that woman who passionately clung to me….”
Later on Sunday, Cena, who currently stars in the comedy “Blockers,” posted an Instagram image of Comic Book Guy from TV’s “The Simpsons,” alongside the text “Worst day ever!” On Monday, Cena, subsequently tweeted, “Hardship, loss, and humility are extremely difficult waters to navigate, but perseverance thru them builds a strength to withstand anything life throws your way.”
Bella, 34, whose E! reality show “Total Bellas” with twin sister Brie Bella returns May 20, had posted graphical text on Twitter and Instagram Sunday reading “After much contemplation and 6 years of being together Nikki Bella and John Cena announced today their decision to separate as a couple. ‘While this decision was a difficult one, we continue to have a great deal of love and respect for one another. We ask that you respect our privacy during this time in our lives.’ “
On her predecessor show “Total Divas” in 2014, Cena and Nikki Bella were on a relationship break over his desire not to marry or to have children. At one point on the show, he tells her, “I don’t want to get married and I don’t want to have kids. And you do want to get married and you do want to have kids, so I feel like there’s this time bomb over my head.” Nonetheless, the two reconciled and he proposed to her during “WrestleMania 33” last April.