Heidi Powell Pens Emotional Birthday Post and Opens Up About 'Loving' Dave Hollis: 'I Miss This Guy'

"Loving someone isn't contingent on relationship status or struggles endured," the fitness instructor wrote as she also commemorated her 41st birthday

Dave Hollis' Girlfriend Pays Tribute to Former Disney Exec After His Death
Dave Hollis and Heidi Powell. Photo: Heidi Powell/instagram

Heidi Powell is reflecting on love and loss as she commemorates another trip around the sun.

In honor of her 41st birthday, the fitness instructor penned an emotional message about the "painful" lessons she learned last year and cherishing time with loved ones, including former Disney executive Dave Hollis, who died in February.

"Man, do I miss this guy. Especially over this last week," Powell captioned Tuesday's post, which included a smiling shot with Hollis and her children.

"I committed to not bringing my pain to Instagram… and I realize I am in part breaking my own promise here. But I am more aware by the day that I'm not the only one blindly walking this healing journey," she continued. "We all loved Dave deeply. And he loved us deeply."

Alongside the photo, the fitness instructor shared a screenshot of a tribute Hollis penned for her birthday in 2021.

In Tuesday's post, Powell wrote that in that message, Hollis "celebrated my existence on this planet better than anyone ever has."

"I'm sitting here in both sadness and gratitude for what was… full of learnings and hope for what will be," she continued.

Powell and Hollis started dating following his split from his ex-wife, going Instagram official on Valentine's Day 2021, which also marked Hollis' 46th birthday.

Although their relationship status at the time of his death wasn't clear, Powell has shared a number of tributes mourning his death and reflecting on her grief.

Seemingly referencing their relationship, as her birthday post continued, Powell wrote that "loving someone isn't contingent on relationship status or struggles endured. Not for me, at least."

"For me, love is unconditional and transcendent... and can (and does) exist with and beyond hardship, even as the foundation of healthy boundaries," she continued. "Love belongs to and is deserved by everyone. Always. No exceptions."

RELATED VIDEO: Dave Hollis, Former Disney Executive, Dead at 47: 'We Are Devastated,' Ex-Wife Rachel Hollis Says

In the post, Powell mentioned especially missing Hollis "in rooms where he previously stood proudly by my side."

Earlier this week, she shared a number of photos on her Instagram Story from such an event, writing that she wished their "biggest cheerleader, Dave, could be here."

"He would be so proud of everyone here. As we move forward with LOVE. For others & most importantly for ourselves," she wrote. "We honored him all day through tears, lots of laughter, and not taking what he taught us for granted. We saved him a seat and knew he was there and incredibly proud of everyone…we love you Dave and miss you so much."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Hollis died at his home outside Austin, Texas, on Feb. 11, a family representative previously told The Hollywood Reporter. An exact cause of death has not been revealed.

In a recent episode of The Rachel Hollis Podcast, his ex-wife, Rachel Hollis, said they "still honestly don't know what happened."

Dave Hollis and Rachel Hollis
Dave Hollis and Rachel Hollis. Stewart Cook/Variety/Shutterstock

"I found out after the fact that he had gone to the hospital a couple of times because he was having heart problems," she said. "So I think it's really highly possible he had a heart attack, but I don't know."

"Whatever he died from, we're still in the same space, which is just deep grief," she added.

Rachel and Dave, who have four children together, were married for 16 years before they announced their divorce in June 2020.

Related Articles