Melania Trump, the former first lady, is navigating a personal period of mourning following the death of her mother, Amalija Knavs. In a heartfelt Instagram post dated January 21, Melania shared an old photograph of her mother, paying tribute to her life and expressing gratitude for the outpouring of support during this difficult time.

"On behalf of my family, I would like to extend our deepest gratitude for the love and support that you have showered upon us throughout this journey of loss and grief. We will cherish the beautiful memories of my beloved mother, and forever keep her light in our hearts," she wrote in her post.

The public's response to Melania's loss was one of compassion and empathy, as numerous individuals expressed their condolences. Notable among the sympathizers was Kimberly Guilfoyle, fiancée of Donald Trump Jr., who described Amalija Knavs as "one of the most beautiful, kind, amazing and talented people that I've ever met."

The circumstances surrounding the funeral of Amalija Knavs, however, sparked speculation about the state of Melania's marriage with former President Donald Trump. Observers noted that the couple departed the funeral in separate cars, fueling rumors of marital discord. Commenters on social media speculated on the nature of their relationship, with one suggesting, "She must really despise him," while another pondered the impact of Trump's presidential ambitions on the family dynamic.

This period of personal grief coincided with legal challenges for Donald Trump. He expressed frustration when Manhattan federal judge Lewis Kaplan declined to postpone his trial to accommodate his attendance at the funeral. Trump shared his feelings during a speech in Indianola, saying, "I'd like to support my wife who is going to be standing at a funeral of her mother, who is a very special woman. Is she supposed to stand there alone? No, no, I'll be there. One way or the other, I'll be there. But what a disgrace that a judge would not say, 'Yes, we can take a day off.'"

In her eulogy for Amalija, Melania reflected on the profound impact her mother had on her life, describing her as a "ray of light in the darkest days" and emphasizing their close bond. Following the eulogy, Melania tenderly placed a kiss on her mother's casket, a poignant gesture that underscored the depth of their relationship.

Amalija Knavs had resided at the Trumps' Mar-a-Lago resort since the couple left the White House in 2021. She was known for her strong relationships with Melania and Barron, Melania and Donald's son. A family source previously told PEOPLE about the special bond Amalija shared with Barron, noting, "There have been times when Barron has been with his grandparents more than with Melania, and a lot more than with Donald."

This period of bereavement for the Trump family highlights the personal challenges they face amidst public scrutiny and ongoing legal battles.