James Van Der Beek is mourning the death of this mother, Melinda, who passed away last week at age 70. The actor gave a heartfelt tribute to social media, sharing a series of photos of his mother who was a professional dancer as well as a 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 said.
Van Der Beek took the time to reflect on his mother’s impact as a coach and teacher, along with her lasting 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.”
Van Der Beek shared with fans that how despite the pain of losing his mother, he is comforted 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.
His mother’s death comes after Van Der Beek and his wife Kimberley 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 actor posted to Instagram last month.
“To all the families who have gone through this… you are not alone,” he added.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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