The actor revealed that his mother died last week

By Claudia Harmata
July 13, 2020 02:11 PM
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James Van Der Beek/Instagram

James Van Der Beek is mourning the death of his mother, Melinda, who died last week at age 70.

In a heartfelt tribute on social media, the actor opened up about the loss while sharing a series of photos of his mother, who was a professional dancer and gymnastics teacher.

"My mom crossed over last week. Even though we knew this was coming — and had actually thought we were at the end nearly a year and a half ago - I’m still in shock," wrote Van Der Beek, 43.

"I’m grateful she’s no longer in pain, I’m sad, I’m angry, I’m relieved... all at once and in different moments. Just trying to hold space and allow for it all," he added of his grief.

James Van Der Beek/Instagram

Van Der Beek reflected on his mother's impact in the world as a coach and teacher, as well as her profound influence on his family.

"To thousands of kids, she was 'Miss Melinda', a gymnastics teacher with a big heart, a creative spirit and a mantra: 'There’s no such word as can’t!'" he wrote. "To my kids, she was Grammy M... a magical grandma with a big laugh and a basement full of costumes and Christmas lights."

"And to me... she was my mom. She gave me life. She taught me how to tumble. Drove me to my first auditions," the father of five said. "She believed in me based on nothing but her own intuition and she passed on a craziness that has been crucial to not just my success, but my own personal happiness."

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Van Der Beek told his fans that despite the pain of losing his mother, he is taking comfort in knowing his mother is looking down on his five children from "the other side."

"I don’t know what the grieving/healing process looks or feels like from here on out... all I know is anytime my kids — or any of her students — want to dress up, or get on a stage, or dance, or even just think of her... they’ll have a little extra love from the other side backing them up," he said.

Several fans shared their condolences in the comments section of his post. "Strength and love for you and your family," one wrote, while another added, "So sorry for you loss james. Sending love and prayers ❤️."

News of his mother's death comes a few weeks after Van Der Beek and his wife Kimberly announced that they had recently suffered another miscarriage — their fifth pregnancy loss. The couple has five children: Gwendolyn, 2, Emilia, 4, Annabel Leah, 6, Joshua, 8, and Olivia, 9½.

"After suffering a brutal, very public miscarriage last November, we were overjoyed to learn we were pregnant. This time, we kept the news to ourselves. But last weekend, once again, 17 weeks in ... the soul we'd been excited to welcome into the world had lessons for our family that did not include joining us in a living physical body," the Dawson's Creek actor wrote on Instagram last month.

"To all the families who have gone through this... you are not alone," he added.