Eva Mendes Honors Late Brother Carlos’s ‘Heavenly Birthday’ 8 Years After His Death

Mendes' brother died on April 17, 2016, at age 53 after being diagnosed with cancer

<p>Tim Hunter / Newspix via Getty</p> Eva Mendes in Sydney, New South Wales on November 2022

Tim Hunter / Newspix via Getty

Eva Mendes in Sydney, New South Wales on November 2022

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."

Related: Eva Mendes Recalls Being Wowed by Ryan Gosling After First Meeting: 'I've Never Experienced Anything Like That'

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.

Related: Eva Mendes Says Walking Away from Acting to Raise Her Daughters with Ryan Gosling Was a 'No Brainer'

The "little girl" mentioned in Mendes' post is her daughter Amada Lee, whom she welcomed with Ryan 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.

<p>Eva Mendes/Instagram</p> Eva Mendes shares a portrait of herself on Instagram

Eva Mendes/Instagram

Eva Mendes shares a portrait of herself on 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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