Bündchen's mother, Vânia Nonnenmacher, died on Jan. 28 at age 75
Following her mother's death, Gisele Bündchen has shared a heartfelt tribute.
"Beloved mom, It hurts to know that I won’t be able to hug you anymore, but I know that you will always be watching over us. You were an angel on earth, always helping everyone around you," Bündchen wrote on Instagram in both Portuguese and English of her mother, Vânia Nonnenmacher, who died on Jan. 28 at age 75. "I am so grateful to be your daughter and to have learned from you. Thank you for being the best role model of love, strength, compassion, courage, and grace."
Bündchen continued, "I will forever cherish the beautiful memories we shared and will live by the values you taught me. You will live forever through the many lives that you touched. Thank you for giving me five best friends for life. Your love will always guide us. I will see you in my dreams. Love you."
Hospital Moinhos de Vento in Porto Alegre, Brazil, released a statement on Jan. 28 saying that Nonnenmacher had died from cancer after being in the hospital since Jan. 26. Bündchen previously told PEOPLE last September that she had been caring for her ailing parents and it had been "tough" on her and her whole family.
“It's been a lot — in every area of my life," she said. "I feel like whenever it rains, it pours. With all the different twists and turns that life takes, all we can do is the best we can given what happens in our surroundings.”
Bündchen shared that she was relying on meditation, daily exercise (“I work out every single day,” she said, noting a mix of walks, yoga and weights) and a dedication to wellness through nutrition to keep her centered during the hard times.
“I think if I didn't have all the different tools that I have to support me during these times, it would've been very hard,” she shared. “And I think we all can relate to that, because I think we all have gone through our roller coasters of life.”
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Bündchen often shared photos and memories of her mother on social media — from celebrating her on Mother's Day last May to sharing a family reunion photo on Instagram in September, where she and her siblings posed alongside Nonnenmacher and husband Valdir Bündchen at a round table.
In addition to the 43-year-old supermodel, Nonnenmacher is the mother of Bündchen's five siblings, Bündchen's twin sister Patricia, as well as her sisters Rafaela, Graziela, Gabriela and Raquel.
Nonnenmacher was a retired bank teller, according to Vanity Fair, and raised her daughter in what the outlet referred to as a "hardworking middle-class family" in the town of Horizontina in Brazil.
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