Jennifer Hudson remembered her late mother on what would have been her 66th birthday on Monday (07Nov16).
The 35-year-old star was left devastated when her mother, Darnell Donerson, and 29-year-old brother Jason Hudson were found dead inside the family home in Chicago in October 2008. The body of Julian King, Jennifer’s seven-year-old nephew, was discovered several days later in a car. All three victims died from multiple gunshot wounds. William Balfour, the estranged husband of Jennifer’s sister Julia, was found guilty of the three murders and is currently serving life in prison.
To mark Darnell’s birthday on Monday, Jennifer took to her Instagram page to post a touching tribute to her mother, sharing a side-by-side comparison of herself with a throwback of her mother.
“Today would have been my late mothers 66th bday! In her words ‘If you think you’ve seen it all just keep on living,'” Jennifer captioned the shot.
The Dreamgirls star had to testify during Balfour's trial, and failed to hold back her tears as she remembered the slain members of her family.
But in a special episode of VH1's Behind the Music back in 2010, Jennifer said her mother's legacy lives on in the way she raises her own son David, now seven.
"In so many ways I channel her because she was such a great mom,” she explained. "My son makes me feel like the most special person on earth. I want him to get the same love and the same upbringing my mother gave us."
Jennifer also revealed she takes comfort from the fact that David reminds her of her late nephew, but looking back on that horrific time is something Jennifer struggles with - because it was "all a blur".
"It was surreal," Jennifer explained. "It was like I was outside of myself. For almost two weeks straight... (I was) inside one room with just family and friends coming in and out. I prayed when I'd get up in the morning and prayed before I lay down at night."