The late actor River Phoenix’s mother, Arlyn Phoenix, posted a heartfelt tribute to her son on social media Wednesday, in honor of what would have been his 53rd birthday.
Arlyn took the time to appreciate the years she was able to share with her son, and how deeply she was affected by his life and death.
“August 23, 1970…one of the most amazing days of my life…bringing Earthbound a living being…truly a touch of the most sacred,” Arlyn began her tribute. “Just as he tried to do with most people, River Jude embraced each of his siblings (who entered through the same portal after him) with his humor, wisdom, authenticity, talent, compassion, vulnerability and undying Love.”
River Phoenix passed away from a drug overdose Oct. 31, 1993, at age 23. He was believed to be one of Hollywood’s most up-and-coming actors at the time, receiving an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor in the 1988 film “Running On Empty.”
“I would say he was and still is our greatest teacher,” Arlyn continued in her tribute.
Arlyn went on to discuss the different levels of pain she felt in experiencing her son’s birth and death.
“The greatest pain I experienced in my life was the pain of natural childbirth and even tho quite different, the pain of my son’s passing,” she wrote.
“But almost instantaneously on both occasions, the gifts that he brought were imbued in each of us and so we carry on celebrating his life for those 23 precious years,” Arlyn continued. (RELATED: Joaquin Phoenix Says Secret Agreement Let Him Pull Unscripted Move To ‘Shock’ Co-Star)
“There are no guarantees in life and I don’t believe any of us were promised that we would not experience ‘tragic moments’. I count it one of the greatest blessings by living in the moment and drawing upon inner knowing as a sacred pathway to navigate through life’s many challenges.”
Arlyn signed off with a personal note of thanks and a touching last message.
“River’s life and death taught me that, in no uncertain terms. I am in awe of the fact that he is very much alive in me. Thank you for all the precious messages that I have received through these past 30 years.”