The 43-year-old actor shared the sad news on Instagram on Monday, posting happy pictures of him and his mom as well as of her spending time with her grandchildren. She was 70 years old.
"Melinda Van Der Beek 1950-2020 ?✝️ My mom crossed over last week," Van Der Beek wrote. "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. 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 noted his mother's impact as a former dancer and gymnastics teacher, and as a loving grandmother to his and his wife, Kimberly's, five children -- Olivia, 9, Joshua, 8, Annabel, 6, Emilia, 4, and Gwendolyn, 2.
"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. 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."
"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 concluded.