John Travolta posted sweet family photos to celebrate the first Mother's Day since the death of his wife Kelly Preston in July 2020

By Vanessa Etienne
May 10, 2021 09:02 AM
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John Travolta shared a sweet tribute to his late wife Kelly Preston for the first Mother's Day since her death.

On Sunday, the actor posted two family photos on Instagram honoring Preston, who died in July at 57 after a two-year battle with breast cancer. The first photo shows Travolta and Preston posing in their bed with their daughter Ella and their then-newborn son Benjamin, all dressed in white.

"Dearest Kelly, you brought into my life three of the most wonderful children I have ever known. Thank you. We love and miss you. Happy Mother's Day," Travolta captioned the photos.

The second photo shows Preston smiling while holding the couple's late son Jett with Travolta standing by her side. Jett, the pair's firstborn, died in 2009 after suffering a seizure at the age of 16.

Travolta and Preston were married for 28 years before her death, after tying the knot in 1991.

Kelly Preston gets a visit from husband John Travolta (L) and son Jett while on location filming the 1997 motion picture "Addicted to Love.
Credit: Mitchell Gerber/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

The 67-year-old has spent the past year grieving the loss of his wife in private, working through this "personal journey." The actor recently told Esquire Mexico that healing has been complicated and the outpouring of support hasn't exactly been helpful.

John Travolta; Kelly Preston
Credit: ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images

"The most important thing you can do to help another person when they are in mourning is allow them to live through it and not complicate it with yours," he told the publication in April. "Even though it's great to have company, sometimes it turns into you helping them instead of you working on your loss and grief."

"You have no idea how many people have come up to me … and afterward I've felt saturated with everyone else's pain that I didn't know what to do," Travolta continued, noting that he still appreciates the condolences. "The first thing you should do while going through grief is go somewhere where you can truly mourn, with no interruptions."

Travolta and Preston kept the news about her cancer out of the spotlight. Following her death, a family rep told PEOPLE that they were "choosing to keep her fight private" while she went through treatment, asking the public to understand "their need for privacy at this time."