Queen Latifah’s mother Rita Owens, 69, died on March 21 after battling with a heart condition for over a decade.

Latifah told People she is “heartbroken” but is at ease knowing her mother is “at peace.” She said in her statement, “It is with a heavy heart that I share the news my mother Rita Owens passed away today. Anyone that has ever met her knows what a bright light she was on this earth. She was gentle, but strong, sweet, but sassy, worldly but pragmatic, a woman of great faith and certainly the love of my life.” She ended the statement with, “forever Rita Owens’ daughter.”

Rita had a heart condition in which the heart isn’t able to efficiently pump enough blood. Latifah said in 2015 that she watched her mother go “through tough times” and watched “her come back and bounce back and still maintain this sense of humor, and love and drive and will.” Many times Rita starred on Latifah’s show, Living Single as her mother, carrying the love they shared on to the screen.

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On Wednesday night, the star shared a video of a picture on her Instagram with the caption “143” meaning “I love you.”

 

143

A post shared by Queen Latifah (@queenlatifah) on Mar 21, 2018 at 8:40pm PDT

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