Eva Mendes pays moving tribute to late brother Carlos during family celebration

The 2 Fast 2 Furious was missing her big brother, who passed in 2016 after a battle with cancer

Big family moments have a way of making us remember our absent loved ones – a sentiment that Eva Mendes would no doubt agree with. While celebrating her little brother Carlo’s birthday, the actress’ thoughts turned to her late brother Juan Carlos Mendez – whom they lost in 2016. Eva shared a picture of the birthday boy Carlo, with a poignant message accompanying the smiley snap. It began: “Happy Birthday Hermano! Sending you so much love today and every day. Thank you for always being so positive and so sweet and full of love. Te quiero!”

The actress shared this snap of her little brother Carlo on his birthday - pointing out he was not to be confused with her late sibling Carlos

The 2 Fast 2 Furious star continued: “For those of you who don’t know, this is my brother Carlo (@cmendez78), not to be confused with Carlos, our big brother that passed a few years ago that our hearts ache for every day. I just wanted to clarify so there was no confusion. Enjoy today little brother. It’s all we know we have. Love you.”

Eva and her family were devastated when Carlos passed away at 53 on April 17, 2016 after a battle with cancer. The actress – who gave birth to her second daughter Amada just 12 days after her brother died – says the sad loss strengthened their bonds. "Losing my brother brought our family closer, and we were already close to begin with," she told Latina magazine a few months after his passing. "So to just see everybody be there for one another and show up, I feel so lucky to have them."

Eva Mendes said losing Juan Carlos in 2016 brought her family closer together

RELATED: Surprise! Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling welcome new family member

Eva, who also has a second daughter Esmeralda with Ryan Gosling, continued: "We had a funeral service for him and that same week I had the baby. It was really, really intense and obviously beyond heartbreaking, but also kind of beautiful."

More about