Eva Mendes Honors Late Brother Carlos’s ‘Heavenly Birthday’

Eva Mendes is remembering her late brother Carlos Mendez on what would have been his 61st birthday.

Mendes’ brother died on April 17, 2016, at age 53, after being diagnosed with cancer. The actress, 50, paid tribute to his heavenly birthday on Thursday in a sweet Instagram post with an animated photo of Teri Garr.

“My mood today… captured by the coolest, Teri Garr. I post her because it’s my brother’s heavenly birthday today and he LOVED her. You can tell a lot by a person on who they crush on, looking back I didn’t appreciate it, he was my annoying older brother, but now I realize he was cooler than I thought. It was me who didn’t get it. ❤️” Mendes wrote.

Their younger brother, Carlo Mendez, 46, commented on the post, “I still can’t believe it, it’s gonna be 8 years since he passed. Unreal.”

Over on her Instagram Story, Mendes shared a clip of her and her partner Ryan Gosling’s dog, Lucho, playing with a stuffed animal, and opened up about how he brings her joy.

“Mucho Luch Love. He’s crazy about Tigre. And I’m crazy about him. It’s these Little Lucho moments throughout the day that brings me such pure ❤️,” Mendes wrote.

On Monday, the mom of two explained that she has a “complicated relationship” with the month of April.

“Oh April… I have such a complicated relationship with you,” wrote Mendes. “Tomorrow would have been my brother’s birthday…..in a couple of weeks from now is the day we lost him…but then, the end of April we got the biggest blessing of all, my little girl was born 8 years ago. I hate you April. But I love you more,” wrote Mendes on Instagram.

Eva Mendes shares video of dog Lucho.

Eva Mendes/Instagram

The “little girl” mentioned in Mendes’ post is her daughter Amada Lee, whom she welcomed with Gosling on April 29, 2016. The couple’s first daughter together, Esmeralda Amada, was born on Sept. 12, 2014.

Mendes reflected on the timing of her brother’s death and the arrival of her second daughter in a previous conversation with PEOPLE, calling it a “tough” situation.

“It’s so tough,” she said in November 2019. “Thank God I had my baby; it was a week after he passed. So there was something to move forward. There was poetry to it all.”

She expressed that one of her “favorite memories” with her brother included spending time together during the holidays.

Eva Mendes shares a portrait of herself on Instagram.

Eva Mendes/Instagram

“My favorite memories are when he used to, at Thanksgiving or a big dinner or Christmas dinner, roast everybody — but roast you hard. Of course, I miss him incredibly, and that’s an understatement, but I’m holding on to that tradition,” said Mendes.

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“I’m so happy that he gave me that,” she continued. “I don’t think I could carry it on the way he did, but those are some fun memories because he would really get raw.”

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