Entertainment Movies Octavia Spencer Mourns Death of Nephew, Her Sister's 'Only Child': 'Second Worst Day of My Life' "My family lost the first of the next generation of us, and we're gutted," Octavia Spencer wrote on Instagram Tuesday night, revealing her nephew has died By Jen Juneau Jen Juneau Twitter Jen Juneau is a digital news writer for PEOPLE since 2016. People Editorial Guidelines Published on June 1, 2022 04:48 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Octavia Spencer. Photo: Vera Anderson/WireImage Octavia Spencer is grieving the loss of her nephew. The actress shared the tragic news that her sister's "only child" had died on Instagram Tuesday night, alongside a photo featuring a vase of flowers in front of a framed painting. "Grief. You wouldn't know it by this picture that today was the second worst day of my life," Spencer, 52, began her heartbreaking caption. "My family lost the first of the next generation of us, and we're gutted." "Grief is the most terrifying of emotions because I can't laugh my way out of it. I have to feel," she continued. "Right now, I'm feeling for my sister who lost her only son. Her only child." 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 juicy celebrity news to compelling human-interest stories. Spencer went on to request of those reading her post, "If you're praying people, pray for her and my brother in law." "I also ask for privacy as we deal with this tremendous loss. 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽," the Hidden Figures star concluded her post, on which she disabled comments. The sad news comes days after the Oscar winner marked her 52nd birthday, during which she reflected on "the tragedies in Buffalo and Uvalde," calling them "emblematic of a greater problem in this nation: apathy." "We've become desensitized to the evil genie that is gun violence," Spencer added. "The genie is out of the bottle but it can be stopped. How? Well, we have to take its power!! A genie with no magic is just a puff of smoke." "Change the damn gun laws. My thoughts and prayers are with those who lost family members this week," she concluded.