While social media is usually a place that celebrities use to share happy news, there are the occasional posts that instead share some of the lows in life. Such was the case with a post made on August 8 by DAYS OF OUR LIVES star Tamara Braun (Ava) on Instagram in which she shared that one of her best friends, Lea Petmezas, had passed away.
Braun had first revealed in early July that her beloved friend was in major medical trouble. The GoFundMe that the DAYS actress shared revealed that after months of suffering from serious health issues, Petmezas was ultimately diagnosed with brain tumors. She underwent a 15-hour surgery on July 12 but sadly passed away two days later.
Understandably, Braun took a break from social media while she grieved the passing of a friend she’d had for over 30 years. (In her previous post, Braun shared that she and Petmezas had met in an acting class just before Braun’s 19th birthday and later were roommates while studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London.) “Hey everyone,” the actress began her emotional message. “I want to thank all of you for your love, good energy, prayers, well wishes, and donations for my dear friend, my Lovely Lea, Lea Love. I can’t thank you enough. The outpouring of support while I was with her in the hospital warmed my heart so deeply, you have no idea. Love is all around. Many of you didn’t know Lea but you opened your hearts and wallets to help. Truly… no words can express my gratitude enough.”
Having been with Petmezas when she passed, Braun confessed that it’s taken her several weeks to gather the emotional strength to return to Instagram with an update. “I couldn’t write until now. I’m sorry,” the actress — who previously played GENERAL HOSPITAL‘s Carly — told her followers. “I still don’t know what to write. She was surrounded by her four children and four of us women who were blessed to be able to be with her during her final days and moments. She was surrounded by love as she should be. She gave so much to everyone who knew her.”
Describing her sweet friend, Braun wrote that Petmezas was “such a force. A light. A marvel. A mother. A warrior. A friend. She was and will always be so very deep in my heart. A true gift she was, and I will be eternally grateful for her and all the years I had her. I love you, Lea. Thank you for the signs.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with Braun and Petmezas’ family during this difficult time.