“To my sweet love, Jett,” the actress, 56, captioned a throwback, black-and-white photo of herself and Travolta, 65, kissing their eldest child. “You are in our hearts forever.”
Preston went on to advocate for autism awareness in the remainder of her Friday, April 5, Instagram post. “I send love to all of the beautiful autistic children and the wonderful people who love them,” she wrote. “May we all shine and grant love and respect to children with special needs.”
Jett died at age 16 in January 2009 after suffering a seizure and hitting his head on a bathtub while the family was on vacation in the Bahamas. He would have turned 27 on April 13. The couple are also parents of daughter Ella, 19, and son Benjamin, 8.
The Grease star opened up to Us Weekly earlier this year about how the Church of Scientology helped the parents grieve. “The church never left our sides for two years,” he told Us. “I don’t know if I would have made it through without their support. … Our church is the number one thing that keeps us grounded.”
Preston first spoke out about Jett’s autism diagnosis in November 2012. “He was autistic, he had seizures, and when he was very young, he had Kawasaki syndrome,” she said during an appearance on The Doctors. She also explained at the time that she and Travolta “strongly believe … there are certain contributing factors that lead to autism.”
The Gotti actress detailed the devastating aftermath of her son’s death in May 2012. “I’ve had enormous loss. Nobody should have to lose a child. It’s unfathomable,” she said on The Conversation With Amanda de Cadenet. “But I’m here to say that you can get through it. You can live again. You can want to live again.”
She added: “Everybody grieves in their own way. I felt at times like I was drowning. It felt like a sea of wet blankets. And then I just peeled them off, layer by layer, so that I can now say, ‘I want to live. I love life. My life is beautiful and amazing.’”
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