John Travolta is paying tribute to late wife Kelly Preston on the first Mother's Day since her death in July at age 57 following a two-year private battle with breast cancer. The actor took to Instagram Sunday to commemorate the difficult milestone for his family, sharing with his followers two photos of his late wife. The first showed Travolta and Preston laying in bed with daughter Ella and son Benjamin — now 21 and 10 — while the second showed the parents with their son Jett, who died at age 16 in 2009 due to a seizure.
"Dearest Kelly, you brought into my life three of the most wonderful children I have ever known," Travolta wrote in the caption. "We love and miss you. Happy Mother's Day." This is the first Mother's Day Travolta has spent without Preston since the two stars tied the knot in 1991, as the two were married for 28 years before the Jerry Maguire star passed away due to cancer.
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"It is with a very heavy heart that I inform you that my beautiful wife Kelly has lost her two-year battle with breast cancer," Travolta announced on July 13. "She fought a courageous fight with the love and support of so many." He continued that Preston's "love and life" would always be remembered, advising fans that he would be stepping back from public life for a bit as he was"taking some time to be there for my children who have lost their mother." He concluded, "But please know that I will feel your outpouring of love in the weeks and months ahead as we heal."
In April, Travolta opened up for an interview with Esquire Spain about how he's been working through the grief of losing his wife, explaining that he's come to realize how personal and complicated a process it is over the years. "I learned that mourning someone, dealing with grief is something very personal," the Pulp Fiction actor told the magazine. "Mourning is individual and experiencing your own journey is what can lead you to heal. Your grief is different from another person's journey."
"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 continued. "Even though it's great to have company, sometimes it turns into you helping them instead of you working on your loss and grief."