James Van Der Beek announced his mom, Melinda Van Der Beek, died at age 70 after battling health issues for the “last year and a half.” The Dawson’s Creek alum shared the heartbreaking news about his beloved mother’s death in an emotional Instagram post on Monday, July 13.
“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,” he wrote on social media alongside a handful of sweet family photos. “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.”
In his post, the Hollywood star praised his late mother for being known as “‘Miss Melinda,’ a gymnastics teacher with a big heart, a creative spirit and a mantra: ‘There’s no such word as can’t!'” he sweetly gushed. But he also marveled at Melinda’s skills as a loving grandmother to his five kids, Olivia, 9, Joshua, 8, Annabel, 6, Emilia, 4, and Gwendolyn, 2, whom he shares with wife Kimberly Brook.
“To my kids, she was Grammy M … a magical grandma with a big laugh and a basement full of costumes and Christmas lights,” James continued. “And to me … she was my mom. She gave me life. She taught me how to tumble. Drove me to my first auditions. 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.”
While the Varsity Blues alum noted he’s unsure of what his “grieving [and] healing process looks or feels like from here on out,” he’s confident he’ll get through the heartbreak with the help of Kimberly, 38, their children and everyone else who adored Melinda.
“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,” James concluded.
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43 candles, five kids, an amazing wife… and more questions now than when I was half my my age and thought I knew everything. Thank you to everyone who’s contributed along this crazy journey. Thanks for your love, your creativity, your compassion, your vulnerability… and most of all for daring to live in your heart. #LifeIsATeamSport #AndWeAreAllOnTheSameTeam
News of Melinda’s death comes just weeks after James and Kimberly announced they suffered another miscarriage in late June. The longtime couple, who revealed the news of their previous miscarriage in November 2019, gave fans the devastating update that they lost another pregnancy.
“After suffering a brutal, very public miscarriage last November, we were overjoyed to learn we were pregnant,” the Rules of Attraction actor penned in the caption of his Instagram post on June 20. “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.”
James said they were forced to rush Kimberly to the hospital “for another harrowing night of blood transfusions” because her health was so poor. “I stood by, grateful for the good people who navigated the maze of regulations to save her life, but helpless to do much for the woman I loved … other than massage her feet and try to keep her warm.”
Our thoughts are with James and his family during this time.